December 5, 2019 / 1:02 AM / 10 days ago

UPDATE 1-NZ's Synlait gets China infant formula approval for Auckland factory

(Adds details on approvals, background on China import rules)

Dec 5 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Synlait Milk on Thursday said it had received Chinese approval for the registration of infant formula processed at its Auckland-based facility, helping it to expand in its key market.

The approval from the China’s General Administration of Customs paves the way for brand registration to begin, it added.

China tightened regulations on infant-formula imports earlier this year in a bid to boost demand for domestic products.

Synlait said it also had received registration for its advanced dairy-liquid processing facility at its Dunsandel facility, an important milestone for the potential export of cream-based products to China.

The approvals “confirm we have the opportunity to ... keep expanding in the China market,” Chief Executive Leon Clement said in a statement.

The company reported a 10% rise in annual net profit in September but fell short of expectations as a revised pricing deal with its branding partner, a2 Milk, resulted in lower margins.

Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Stephen Coates

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