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House Foods profit likely rose 15% as China devours curry roux

TOKYO -- House Foods Group's operating profit for the year ended in March likely rose 15% to some 10 billion yen ($91.5 million), helped by strong sales of high-margin curry roux blocks in China.

     The Japanese company projected a 12% profit increase to 9.7 billion yen. Sales likely shrank 1% to some 230 billion yen, falling short of the planned 7% increase to 246.7 billion yen. Japanese sales of ready-made curry packaged in retort pouches decreased amid intense competition. But even with the revenue drop, the company absorbed the rising cost of spices used to make curry roux by raising product prices.

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