SINGAPORE (July 26): Dairy Farm International (DFI), a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, announced earnings of US$225 million ($306.2 million) for the half-year ended June, up 6% from its 1H17 restated earnings of US$212 million a year ago on higher consolidated sales.  

An unchanged interim dividend of 6.5 US cents per share has been declared for the period under review.

Combined total sales for 1H18, including 100% of associates and joint ventures (JVs), was US$12.2 billion, rising 17% from US$10.4 billion a year ago, primarily as a result of strong growth in its China-based supermarket retailer associate Yonghui as well as the group’s catering associate, Maxim’s.

Sales for the period by DFI’s subsidiaries were 8% higher than last year at US$5.9 billion compared to US$5.5 billion previously, or 6% higher at constant rates of exchange.

As such, underlying net profit grew 2% to US$215 million, which translates to underlying earnings per share (EPS) of 15.88 US cents compared to 15.63 US cents previously.

Operating cash flow for 1H18 was a net inflow of US$312 million, higher than the US$306 million for 1H17, which DFI says is reflective of continued improvements in working capital management.

Looking back on 1H18, DFI attributes its overall performance to strong results from North Asia, driven by its health and beauty businesses in Hong Kong and Macau. However, it notes that the Southeast Asian food business continued to face challenges to result in an overall weaker performance.

Going forward, the group expects its other businesses to continue making steady progress. It adds that while significant management and structural changes have been made to address the issues faced in a number of areas, time will be needed to deliver sustainable improvement.

Shares in DFI closed flat at US$9.23 on Thursday.