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Top Dairy Maker Sees 58% Rise in Revenue
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China Mengniu Dairy Co. Ltd., one of China's top dairy products manufacturers, posted 7.5 billion yuan (US$950 million) of revenue in the first half of 2006, up 58.7 percent year on year, Yao Tongshan, the company's inspector general of financial affairs, said here Tuesday.


Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Hong Kong- listed company reached 343.4 million yuan (US$43.2 million) during the first six months in 2006, an increase of 39.3 percent compared with the same period of 2005.


Yao said at a press conference that the launch of popular value- added new products has enabled the group to flourish amid intense market competition.


According to an AC Nielsen survey conducted in June 2006, Mengniu remained the largest milk seller on the Chinese mainland, holding a 31.7 percent of the country's liquid milk market, up from 28.6 percent in December 2005.


However, the company's rising adverting costs, including the promotion activities with Hong Kong Disneyland, had brought down Mengniu's net profit margin to 4.6 percent in the first half of 2006 from 5.2 percent in 2005 amid global prices hike of raw milk supply and sugar


Lei Yongsheng, Mengniu's chief administrative officer, said the company would keep its advertising and marketing costs below 1 billion yuan (US$126 million) for the entire year.


"We are confident that our company will continue to bring satisfactory returns to our shareholders in the second half," Lei said. "We will further enhance product quality controls, improve management capabilities and speed up internationalization strategy."


Lei said he believed China's rising consumer demands for quality dairy products will continue to provide strong impetus for the company's growth in the future.


(Xinhua News Agency September 6, 2006)


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