Lakeland Dairies has broken into the Chinese food market with the launch of a new baby formula, which is currently being manufactured and intended for Asian retail shelves in four week’s time. The company also reported a turnover of 18 percent to €472m for 2011 and a 52 percent rise in operating profit to 6.85m following the release of its annual financial report earlier this week.
Speaking to the Leader on Monday, Chief Executive, Lakeland Dairies, Michael Hanley said that the company’s export market was being driven by the demand for Irish dairy produce, not just in China, but throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Far East; all of this despite a large market share in China by New Zealand. “There is a huge growth in European eating habits in China and that has resulted in an increase in demand for dairy products there,” he said. “New Zealand is in there at the moment with products; but we are manufacturing our new infant milk formula now for the Chinese market and that is very positive. You have to be selling a valued added product and at the moment China is soaking up big dairy products from the world market; the Chinese are soaking up milk that would traditionally have ended up in other markets such as America, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.”
The Lakelands chief went on to say that dairy markets had changed direction in recent times and that, none the less, “2011 had been a strong year”.
To read this story in full, see this week’s Longford Leader.