SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) — CJ Cheiljedang Corp. said Tuesday that its net profit skyrocketed over tenfold in the third quarter from a year earlier, as its overseas sales rose sharply amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Net sales spiked to 189.2 billion won (US$169.7 million) in the July-September period on a consolidated basis, sharply up from a profit of 17 billion won a year earlier, CJ Cheiljedang said in a regulatory filing.

Operating profit increased 47.5 percent to 402.1 billion won (US$360.6 million) over the cited period, with sales up 8.3 percent to 6.34 trillion won.

The strong third-quarter earnings stemmed from brisk global demand for foodstuffs and bio products, as well as strong domestic sales for processed food products, CJ Cheiljedang said.

The company’s overall food sales amounted to 2.39 trillion won in the third quarter, up 7.4 percent from a year ago. Overseas food sales hiked 13 percent to 1.2 trillion won, and domestic sales of processed foods increased 6 percent on-year.

Bio-related sales jumped 7.3 percent to 771.3 billion won, and operating profit soared by 51 percent, driven by its expanded presence in the amino acid market.

CJ Cheiljedang expected its earnings to continue hiking during the current quarter, citing the increasing popularity of home meal replacements, such as pre-cooked food and meal kits, in the country and the company’s efforts for risk management.

Shares of CJ Cheiljedang closed down 3.92 percent at 379,500 won on the Seoul bourse.

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