New Zealand's A2 Milk sees jump in FY revenue

New Zealand dairy firm a2 Milk Company Ltd dashed market expectations on Wednesday with a forecast for annual revenue growth of more than 63 percent, sending its shares to a three-month low.

A2 Milk received a harsh lesson in meeting market expectations today when its shares were sold down sharply, despite the alternative milk company reporting sales forecasts that most companies can only dream of.

A2 said group revenue in the nine months ended March 31 rose 70 percent to $660 million, which it said "reflects continued sales growth in both nutritional products and liquid milk".

A2's ASX-listed shares fell as much as 20 per cent at the open before recovering slightly.

The forecast revenue also reflected the impact of seasonal sales in China, which are weighted towards the first half of the financial year.

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Gross margin was 49.8 percent in the first half, which the company said at the time was higher than expected "primarily due to the higher proportion of infant formula sales, currency movements and favourable net selling prices relative to plan".

"When they don't meet market expectations, they get a caning by the market", he said. Shares in Synlait Milk, which has a supply arrangement with a2, dropped 5 percent to NZ$10.22.

That's a significant increase from FY17 revenues of $NZ549.5 million, which in turn represented a 55.8% increase from the previous year.

In an investor presentation released today, a2 Milk said revenues from sales to China nearly trebled from the prior comparative period.

In an global investor presentation released on Wednesday, a2's managing director Geoffrey Babidge said the company's growth reflected "increasing consumer acceptance of our brand and the benefits of dairy-based products free from the A1 beta casein protein type".

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