Huiyuan Juice Group has reported an 86% plunge in net profits for 2008, despite a 6% increase in turnover for the year.

Huiyuan, China's leading juice maker and recent subject of a US$2.4bn takeover bid from The Coca-Cola Co, said that turnover for the 12 months of 2008 rose by 6.2% to RMB2.8bn (US$409.8m).

Net profits, however, dived by 86% to RMB88.9m, compared to RMB640.2m in 2007, said the group, which controls around 42% of the Chinese juice market. Operating profits for 2008 fell by 36.8% RMB340.9m.

Commenting on the fall in profits, Huiyuan said: "Faced with challenging market conditions, Huiyuan has promptly implemented a series of strategic measures, including optimising the sales and distribution network, centralising the sales and order processing functions at the group's headquarters and enhancing the marketing and brand promotion efforts."

Last month, Hong Kong-based Huiyuan publicly criticised China's Ministry of Commerce for blocking Coca-Cola's takeover bid on competition grounds, despite the US soft drinks firm gaining the consent of Huiyuan's board.

Huiyuan said that China's fruit and vegetable juice market grew by 17% in volume terms in 2008, to 2.84bn litres, according to Nielsen figures. Huiyuan reported a 5% rise in volume sales for the year.

In value terms, Huiyuan said that the firm's sales of 100% juice fell by 2.4% during the year, while sales of nectars and juice drinks rose by 8.4% and 8.9% respectively.