Bellamy's posts profit rise but shares sink

Bellamy's posts profit rise but shares sink
Bellamy's Australia (ASX: BAL) has almost doubled its first-half net profit to $22.4 million from $13.2 million from the prior corresponding period in FY17 when its result was hit by $8.6 million of significant items related to poor sales in China.

Revenue for the infant formula maker rose almost 50 per cent to $174.9 million for the six months to December 31, and Bellamy's reaffirmed full-year guidance of revenue growth of 30 to 35 per cent on the 2017 financial year.

The Tasmania-based company says the solid results were driven by an increase in volumes and a small contribution from the acquisition of the Camperdown Powder manufacturing business.

"While there are still challenges to navigate, we are pleased to see that our turnaround plan continues to gain traction and the overall health of the business has improved," says Bellamy's CEO Andrew Cohen.

"While we recognise these positive initial results, we remain mindful of the inherit risk of dynamic and highly regulated market. Our focus is now on obtaining our CFDA license and executing a long-term growth plan."

The company, which develops organic baby formula, food, and snacks, did not declare an interim dividend.

The company is waiting on Chinese authorities to grant a licence for its Camperdown manufacturing facility and Bellamy's says it will acquire the remaining 10 per cent of the operation if the applications is successful.

The Camperdown facility was closed for 33 days during the first half as Chinese authorities suspended its operation. It made an EBITDA loss of $1.4 million but Bellamy's expects profitability to improve in the second half.

At around 1pm AEDT, BAL shares were down by 6 per cent to $14.85.


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