A2 long life milk cartons_cropped for web

Alternative milk brand A2 saw global revenues jump by more than 80% for the six months to 31 December, while year-on-year UK sales rose by 45%, latest accounts have shown.

Total sales for the period increased by 84% to NZ$256.1m (£147.5m), while EBITDA rose 243% to NZ$64.1m (£39.9m) and net profit rose 290% to NZ$39.4m (£22.7m).

Growth reflected “outstanding results” in A2’s Australia, New Zealand and Chinese markets, said CEO Geoff Babidge, driven by continuing strong demand for A2’s Platinum infant formula, which delivered a year-on-year sales increase of 414%.

The brand’s milk contains the A2 beta-casein protein, rather than the more common A1 protein found in mainstream milk, which the company claims can deliver improved gastrointestinal effects for those suffering from dairy intolerances.

The UK business achieved a significant improvement in performance, added A2 Milk Company China and UK CEO Scott Wotherspoon, with the average rate of sale in-store improving significantly and distribution in key retailers now up to about 1,400 stocking points.

“Surviving Tesco’s Project Reset was a major breakthrough for us,” Wotherspoon said. “We’re now going from strength to strength with them. We have more than 400 Tesco listings, and rate of sale was up 50% during the second half of 2016.”

The brand does not specify its UK financial performance, however A2 Milk saw UK sales rise 35% to £1.5m last year, according to The Grocer’s Top Products Survey 2016 [Nielsen 52 w/e 10 October 2016].

“We’re really pleased with the brand’s performance in the UK,” Wotherspoon said. “It has taken time to get traction, probably longer than we originally planned, but what we are seeing now is that people are starting to understand the product and how it can benefit them. Our growth has been driven by some extra listings but mainly by new shoppers.”

A2 was now looking to pick up extra distribution across the mults, he added, and was reviewing whether to launch its infant formula product in the UK. “It has been driving success in many markets,” Wotherspoon said.