1 Nov 2012

A2 gears up in NZ, plans international expansion

9:51 am on 1 November 2012

Specialty milk producer A2 Corporation is setting up a new operation in New Zealand to directly supply the fresh milk market country.

The company started in New Zealand but does most of its business in Australia, where it has steadily increased sales and now operates its own processing plant.

At present, it licenses North Island company Fresha Valley to process and distribute A2 milk to a limited number of outlets.

A2 managing director Geoffrey Babidge says it's extending the model that has worked for it in Australia by setting up a new subsidiary here and is talking to Fresha Valley about how it might expand the business.

As part of its expansion strategy, A2 Corporation has appointed a distributor in China for its infant formula which will be produced by Canterbury-based Synlait Milk.

It's also launching A2 milk in the UK and developing UHT long life milk and yoghurt products.

While its revenue is mainly generated from selling fresh milk in Australia, the firm is developing partnerships for the sales to China and the UK.

Mr Babidge says the company is open to engaging with partners who may be able to help it achieve its goals.

"Our strategy moving forward is what we would call a capital life strategy - engaging with credible partners who can add value in respect of particular markets or in providing infrastructure or assisting us in sales and marketing".

He says that's the model the company used in the UK for A2 milk beverages and is a potential model for other markets, which could include North America or other parts of Europe.

A2 milk lacks the A1 protein that some scientific studies have linked with digestion and health issues.

The company's share price has nearly tripled this year, to 67 cents each.