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A2 raises earnings forecast

a2, milk, productA2 Milk Co raised its annual earnings forecast, citing better-than-expected sales of its a2 Platinum-branded infant formula.

Operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation are expected to rise for the company which markets milk with a protein variant said to have health benefits to between $NZ33 million and $NZ37 million ($A31.1 million and $A34.8 million).

The forecast for the year ending June 30, 2016, was well ahead of its November estimate of $22m and year-earlier ebitda of $4m, the Auckland-based, Sydney-headquartered company said in a statement.

Annual revenue is forecast to rise to between $NZ300 million-$NZ315 million, ahead of the November forecast of $NZ285 million and from $NZ154 million in 2015, it said.

The upgrade is the second in as many months as demand for a2’s Platinum branded infant formula continues to exceed expectations.

“The infant formula market in Australia is rapidly evolving and experiencing significant growth,” said managing director Geoffrey Babidge.

“The company has recently increased the supply of a2 Platinum infant formula to our customers however we continue to experience a level of out of stocks on shelf.

The strong trading performance advised today provides further evidence of the increasing appeal of the a2 Platinum brand in Australia and China and the growth potential in additional markets in the future.”

The company’s shares last traded at $NZ1.11 and have soared 91 per cent so far this year, making them the best performer on the S&P/NZX50 benchmark index

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