The latest: Food maker Uni-President China Holdings Ltd. (0220.HK) announced Wednesday its revenue rose 12% to a record 28.26 billion yuan ($4.05 billion) last year, though its net profit fell 19% to 1.22 billion yuan.

Looking up: Revenue from the company’s core instant noodles jumped 17.9% to 10.62 billion yuan during the period, as many people turned to such items as they were forced to stay home during frequent Covid outbreaks in China last year.

Take Note: The company’s gross margin dropped 3.6 percentage points to 29% last year due to the impact of higher raw material prices, marking the first time since 2011 when the figure fell below the 30% level.

Digging Deeper: Founded in 1992 and listed in Hong Kong in 2007, Shanghai-based Uni-President China is a unit of Taiwan-based food manufacturer Uni-President, whose main products include instant noodles, tea beverages, fruit juices and coffee. Its revenue has risen for the last three years, as demand for convenience foods has soared during the pandemic. But its net profit has fallen for two years as raw materials, selling costs and marketing expenses have increased. The company said it will develop more non-fried, sugar-free and salt-reduced products this year to meet consumer demand for healthy, quality food and beverages in China.

Market Reaction: Uni-President China shares soared on Thursday, closing up 8.7% at HK$7.65 by the midday break. The stock now trades at the upper end of its 52-week range.

Translation by Jony Ho

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