THE A2 Milk Company has had its application to continue selling its infant formula products in China approved by the Asian nation’s regulatory body.
The mandatory application to the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) was submitted in May by formula manufacturer Synlait Milk, which has been in partnership with A2 Milk since 2010.
All manufacturers of infant formula must register brands and recipes with the CFDA in order to import products into China from January 1.
“We look forward to the continued expansion of our business in China following this announcement,” A2 managing director Geoffrey Babidge said.
The registration is part of broader efforts by China to lift food safety standards after a number of scares including the death of infants from ingesting infant formula laced with melamine in 2008.
In the 12 months ended June 30, A2’s sales from China and other Asian markets jumped to $88.9 million from $38.2 million. Its overall revenue gained 56 per cent while profit tripled to $90.6 million.
Synlait chief executive John Penno described the registration, which included product testing certification of manufacturing standards, formulation assessment and packaging changes, as another milestone in its long-term partnership with A2 Milk.
“Having successfully navigated the process, in conjunction with The A2 Milk Company, we are now in a stronger position for future applications of other Synlait customers,” Mr Penno said.
Synlait and A2 Milk joined forces in 2010 to manufacture infant formula made from milk containing only the A2 beta-casein protein type and free from the A1 protein type. In March, A2 Milk bought 8.2 per cent of Synlait, to “further strengthen the relationship between the two organisations”.
Shares in Synlait and A2 rose to record highs on Thursday on the news. Synlait rose 7.3 per cent to $6.29 on the NZX and has gained 88 per cent this year. A2 rose 4.1 per cent to $6.80 and has surged 207 per cent in 2017, the best performer on the NZX 50 Index, followed by Synlait.
“CFDA registration is a major step in getting a license to operate through formal China label channels and helps de-risk the future beyond 1 January 2018,” said Oyvinn Rimer, a director and research analyst at Harbour Asset Management.
“Because it is China regulation and the outcome is binary, the market will appreciate that this is no longer an overhanging uncertainty.”
Fonterra has also gained registration with its partner Beingmate Baby & Child Food for 15 recipes, it said this week.
Source: News Limited