Synlait Milk affirms it is on track to meet IPO forecasts for 2014 earnings gain

Synlait Milk, which is 39% owned by China's Bright Dairy, said it is on track to meet its prospectus forecasts for earnings growth in 2014 as it ramps up production of infant formula and its constituent ingredients.

The Canterbury-based dairy processor went public in July, raising $75 million to repay debt and build a plant to produce lactoferrin, an ingredient in baby food and adult nutritional products. The plant is on target to open in February, chairman Graeme Milne told shareholders at their annual meeting today.

The company beat its prospectus forecast for 2013 profit at $11.5 million and is targeting profit of $19.7 million for 2014, while it sees sales rising to $524 million from $420 million.

"We're on track to achieve the financial targets we set for the FY14 year during the IPO," Milne said. "Our focus is on continuing to increase the proportion of value added products in our ingredients business, and increase the volume of our infant formula and nutritional product sales."

The company has lodged resource consents for an infant formula spray drying plant for the Synlait Dunsandel site, which will add to capacity, the company said.

The shares fell 0.3 percent to $3.82 and have climbed about 40 percent since listing in July. They sold in the IPO at $2.20 apiece.