BEGA Cheese has seen its full-year profits slide despite a near-12% increase in annual sales.

For the 2011 financial year ended 30 June, the Australian firm earned a pre-tax profit of A$21.6m (US$23m), an 11.4% decline on a year earlier. EBITDA dropped 5.1% to A$52m.

Revenues, however, climbed 16% to reach A$931.7m, boosted by continued international demand for the Bega’s cream cheese and nutritional powders.

The company, which listed on the Australian stock exchange earlier this month, said it manufactured in excess of 186,000 tonnes of dairy products in 2010 and has continued to invest in “capacity and efficiency”.

“The significant investment in excess of A$66m in capacities and capabilities over the past three years positions Bega Cheese well to take advantage of already identified dairy industry rationalisation and market growth opportunities,” chairman Barry Irvine said today (31 August).