Chinese dairy Mengniu saw its profits fall in 2012 on the back of declining sales.

Net earnings in the 12 months to the end of December tumbled 19.1% to CNY1.44bn (US$231.7m), the company reported today (27 March). Operating profit in the period amounted to CNY1.50bn compared to CNY1.90bn last year.

The Hong Kong-listed company attributed the loss to shrinking sales in 2012 and said it will boost its cooperation with Denmark’s Arla Food to tighten food safety standards in the coming year.

Mengniu’s sales are still being affected by the 2008 milk safety scandal, after toxic chemicals were found in its dairy products. Revenues in 2012 were down 3.5% to CNY36.08bn.