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Taiwan noodle maker lands Olympic deal
2006-09-13 23:49:14 Shanghai Daily

BEIJING, Sept. 14 --Uni-President Enterprises Corp, Taiwan's biggest food company, won the right to be the sole supplier of instant noodles to athletes and staff at the 2008 Olympic Games, Bloomberg News reported.

The company will provide noodles as well as some financial support to the 280,000 athletes, officials and volunteers at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games said in a statement posted on its website lateWednesday night. It didn't say how much money Uni-President will donate.

"This will be really good for the share price because it will help their China sales," Chloe Wu, an analyst with Taipei-based Fubon Securities, said. "The Olympic logo is very popular in China."

Uni-President is the first Taiwan company to be named an Olympic sponsor, according to information posted on the organizing committee's website. The company operates plants in Taiwan and in the Chinese mainland that make instant noodles, beverages, wheat flour and meat products. It said on Sept. 6 that first-half profit surged 76 percent totwo billion NT dollars (63 million U.S. dollars).

"We hope to use the Olympic platform to grow our brand recognition in the Chinese mainland," Lin Wuzhong, Uni-President's Chinese mainland general manager, said in the company's statement. Sponsorship allows a company to use the Olympics logo on its products.

The company's noodles are the third-most popular among Chinese consumers, after Hong Kong-based noodle maker Ting Hsin International Group's Master Kang brand and Japan's Nissin Food Products Co's Nissin brand, according to Wu.

The central government welcomes Taiwan companies to compete for sponsorships of the 2008 Olympics, Li Weiyi, a spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office. "Taiwan companies are welcome to join in the Olympic movement," he saidWednesday in Beijing.

(Source: Shanghai Daily)

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