Ausnutria reveals over 50% revenue growth following house-brand infant formula success
At the same time, the Hong Kong-based company's gross profit rose 68% year-on-year to RMB1,197.6m.
Sales of Ausnutria's house-brand goat milk infant formula Kabrita grew by 77% year-on-year to RMB796 million, and accounts for 30.8% of its total revenues.
Apart from Kabrita, Ausnutria's house-brand cow milk formula products (Allnutria, Eurlate, Hyproca, Mygood and Puredo) saw significant year-on-year sales growth of 80.5% to RMB1,168.7m.
According to the firm, it achieved this revenue growth despite Chinese authorities implementing stricter infant formula rules at the start of the year, and the shortage of raw materials for formula milk.
Ausnutria has also increased its production capacity, after acquiring a factory in Australia and commencing the production of two new factories in the Netherlands.
In an official company statement, chairman Yan Weibin said five factories in the Netherlands, two in Australia, and one in New Zealand had been revamped or completed, or had commenced production.
The factory in New Zealand, which was jointly established with Westland (New Zealand's second largest dairy cooperative), completed construction at the end of last year, and has obtained a production permit from the country's Ministry for Primary Industries.
The two new Dutch factories were successfully certified by and registered with the CNCA (Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People's Republic of China) in November 2017.
Furthermore, the construction of Ausnutria's 'smart factory' in Changsha City, China, is expected to be completed in 2018. This will bring the company's total number of factories to 10 by end-2018.
Stakes and shares
With regards to Ausnutria's acquisitions and non-infant formula businesses, Yan said it has completed its acquisition of the remaining 15% equity interest in HNC Group, as well as the remaining 50% equity interest in Ozfarm Australia.
The firm's 2016 acquisition of Nutrition Care Pharmaceuticals' nutrition arm has also spurred its overseas expansion, launching products over the past two years for gut health in China and other countries that have so far been well-received by consumers.
Earlier this year, we reported that Chinese state-owned CITIC Group's CITIC Agri Fund Management had agreed to buy a 25.18% stake in Ausnutria, which has since helped to further the firm's infant formula business.
Yan said, "In the future, the group will follow the direction of nutrition and comprehensive health, seize opportunities both in the PRC and overseas markets, and enhance its sustainability, heading towards the 'Golden Decade' of Ausnutria.
"We firmly believe that continuous increase in the sales of our own-brand milk formula products and gradual enhancement of operation efficiency will allow us to achieve ever-expanding growth results."