CHINA – Yili Group, a state-owned Chinese dairy company, posted net profit of RMB 3.8bn (US$505 million) during its first half of 2019, supported by continuous expansion in Southeast Asia.

Yili’s global operating revenue grew year-on-year by RMB5.13bn (US$694m) to a total annual revenue of RMB45.07bn (US$6.3bn) in the half year period.

The dairy giant said that the performance underlined its strong growth momentum and potential for sustainable development.

Earlier this year, Yili pioneered in the industry with the vision of a “global health ecosystem” as it continues to deepen its global footprint with a view to integrating the best resources globally to better meet consumers’ health and nutritional needs.

Yili has also continued to grow its footprint in Southeast Asia and Asia, offering more products to consumers in Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Myanmar.

As the company continues to build on initial plans to invest significantly in Southeast Asia, Yili launched eleven new ice cream products in the market and has also introduced the Joyday ice cream in Indonesia.

Yili has also invested RMB3 billion (US$418.0m) to build the Oceania Dairy production base, one of the world’s largest integrated dairy bases.

Yili’s acquisition of Thailand’s largest local ice cream company, Chomthana, was also a major breakthrough for the company in terms of growing regional production capacity and gaining market access.

Within one month of the post-deal integration process, Chomthana’s production capacity increased by more than 30%.

Yili’ has also expanded in the Asia-pacific region with the most recent acquisition of Westland Co-Operative Dairy Company Limited, the second largest dairy enterprise in New Zealand.

Yili Group CEO Jianqiu Zhang described the acquisition as a significant milestone in Yili’s global expansion, creating a ‘Dairy Silk Road’ between Asia and New Zealand.

“The acquisition of Westland helps us realize our vision of being the most trusted health food brand in the world by building a vast dairy bridge crossing the Pacific Ocean, helping the world to share health,” Zhang said.

Yili has also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Lincoln University to establish its Oceania Research and Development Center.