February 20, 2018 / 8:06 PM / a month ago

New Zealand’s a2 Milk says first half net profit jumps 150 pct

Feb 21 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s a2 Milk Co Ltd posted on Wednesday a record half-yearly profit on surging demand for its infant formula products in China.

Net profit after tax was NZ$98.5 million ($72.33 million) for the six months to Dec. 31, up about 150 percent from a year earlier, the company said. Analysts at Citi had forecast an interim profit of NZ$83 million.

The firm has been reaping the benefits from using informal “daigou” shopping agents for distribution in China, while some rivals have been caught out by new China’s registration laws that caused many in the sector to dump their product.

Daigou is a channel of commerce where an entity outside China purchases products for customers in mainland China in a bid to avoid high import duties.

$1 = 1.3618 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye

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