China pushes Blackmores back to sales growth, its shares are falling

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Shares in Blackmores fell despite the vitamin maker posting a 28% rise in profit to $15.4 million for the first quarter of 2018.

A short time ago, they were down 3.2% to $132.55.

Net sales were up 9% for the three months to $134 million. Direct sales to China grew 28% compared to the same quarter last year.

“This is a promising start to the new financial year,” says CEO Richard Henfrey.

“Blackmores has experienced less volatility across the business in the quarter and we have implemented a global approach to pricing which has supported an improvement in underlying margins.”

However, Australian retail remains challenging.

“Consumer sentiment in Australia has been subdued though sales in Australia continue to be boosted by strong consumer demand from Chinese consumers,” he says.

Henfrey says the company is in a better position than this time last year with a sound balance sheet, sales and profits returning to year-on-year growth and customers not carrying the high levels of stock.

Here are the quarterly numbers at a glance:

Source: Blackmores

“Consumer demand in China remains strong, though the buying patterns of Chinese entrepreneurs, tourists and exporters in Australia continues to evolve,” he says.

“We are mindful of the challenges in Australian retail caused by softer consumer sentiment.”

The company in August posted a 42% fall in annual profit to $58 million on a 3% slide in sales to $693 million.

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