Wyeth reports strong performance on Chinese demand

Infant formula producer sees full-year turnover jump to $655.8m

 

Wyeth Nutritionals, the Irish infant formula business of Swiss food giant Nestlé, reported another strong trading performance last year due to increased demand for its products in China.

The company, which produces a range of powder and liquid “ready to feed” infant formulas – including brands such as SMA, S-26, Progress, Promil and Illuma – recorded turnover of $655.8 million (€566.4 million) in 2017, up $5.5 million (€4.75 million) on a year earlier.

However, pretax profits were down sharply on the prior year, a period in which the company recorded a 103 per cent rise in profits due to a significant gain arising from the sale of its intellectual property for $1.6 billion (€1.3 billion) to a fellow group undertaking. That sale resulted in a $102 million (€88.1 million) profit gain for Wyeth.

Slipped

Pre-tax profits fell to $12.4 million (€10.7 million), as against $336.8 million (€290.8 million) a year earlier. The slump in pretax profits was also due in part to an increase in the cost of sales, which rose from $397 million (€342.8 million) to $631.5 million (€545.4 million).

Operating profits also slipped, falling to $23.6 million (€20.3 million) from $348.8 million (€301.2 million).

Wyeth, which is based in Askeaton, Co Limerick, was acquired by Nestlé from Pfizer in a $11.85 billion (€10.2 billion) deal in 2012.

The company employed 628 people last year with employee costs totalling €89.2 million. Wyeth paid out $1.1 million (€950,000) in dividends last year versus $152,000 (€131,000) a year earlier.