Chinese infant formula manufacturer Synutra has reported a jump in first-quarter profits, helped by higher selling prices and boosted by proceeds from a plant disposal.

For the first quarter to 30 June, the firm reported net profit of US$18.4m, up from US$4.8m for the same period last year.

Income from operations was also up, hitting US$24.3m from US$7m for the same period last year.

Synutra booked a US$15m gain from the sale of a site in Zhangjiakou.

However, Synutra’s gross profit also rose, despite the higher cost of raw milk hitting gross margins.

Though Synutra’s sales volumes of powdered formula products fell, the decline in was offset by a 22.1% increase in average selling prices. Overall, the group posted a 4.6% rise in net sales to US$86m.

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By GlobalData

“While our sales volume was down slightly, we focused on efficiency in our selling and promotion activities and effectively controlled the discounts we offered, which helped keep firm our average selling price,” chairman and CEO Liang Zhang said.

Shares in Synutra were up 0.50% to US$5.99 on 8 Aug.