Synutra International, the Chinese infant formula maker, has swung to a profit in its fiscal first quarter.

For the three months to the end of June, the company made a profit of US$10.1m compared to a net loss of $9.9m in the prior year period.

Operating income reached $16.3m in the quarter, compared with an operating loss of $10.6m last year. Net sales increased 77% to $83.8m.

Liang Zhang, chairman and CEO of Synutra, said: “Last quarter marked the significant milestone of our return to profitability. This quarter, we have continued to leverage our robust information network and innovative, consumer driven marketing strategy to further improve our revenue mix and drive profitability.”

The company was yesterday forced to issue a statement criticising “irresponsible” reports in China that have alleged a link between the group’s formula and premature breast development in girls.