Blackmores posted a record full year profit of $100 million, up 115%, but warned of softer sales ahead.
A short time ago, its shares — the most expensive on the ASX — were down almost 14% to $138.57.
The vitamins business recorded a 52% rise in sales to $717 million, about $250 million of that attributed to China, either directly or through re-sales from exporters based in Australia.
In-country sales in China jumped 536% to $48 million. In Asia, it was a 54% increase to $129 million.
“In China, Blackmores has invested in an omni-channel strategy, utilising multiple sales channels to connect the brand with consumers, enabling us to leverage opportunities and evolving regulations,” says CEO Christine Holgate.
“This included a greater retail presence that will underpin our future growth in this market.”
However, Blackmores says the Australian wholesale market has softened in recent weeks, impacted by retailers destocking and some exporters changing the channels through which they acquire products.
“As a result, at this stage we expect our first quarter result to be down compared to the prior corresponding period,” says Holgate.
“We expect sales will improve as the year progresses and will continue to develop our business model, building new growth channels, adapting our cost base and accelerating our transition to support the changing retail landscape.”
Blackmores declared a final dividend of 210 cents a share, bringing the full year payout to 410 cents, fully franked, more than double last year.
“We are pleased in a year of exceptional growth to be able to reward our shareholders with a record dividend payout which is a fitting way to thank them for their support,” says Holgate.
Staff also did well from the record result. They get a bonus of about nine weeks pay.