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New Zealand manufacturing sales rise in fourth quarter

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New Zealand's a2 Milk Co Ltd said annual profit tripled to record levels on soaring demand for its infant formula products in China and also unveiled a share buyback that propelled its stock, already an investor favourite, higher.

[WELLINGTON] New Zealand manufacturing sales volumes rose 1.3 per cent in the fourth quarter compared with a 3.3 per cent rise in the third, data from Statistics New Zealand showed on Tuesday.

Volumes for dairy and meat products, the country's biggest export earners, rose 2.5 per cent versus a 6.0 per cent rise in the third quarter. "Petroleum and coal product manufacturing, which can have large movements from quarter to quarter, led the increases in December," business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said."Meat and dairy manufacturing sales was also up following a large increase in the previous quarter."

Mr Kelly said that results were "mixed" across the rest of manufacturing, with more than half the remaining industries seeing sales decreases in the December 2015 quarter.

REUTERS

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