Lifeway said drinkable Kefir products comprised bulk of sales

Lifeway said drinkable Kefir products comprised bulk of sales

US maker of cultured dairy products Lifeway Foods has booked increased income and sales for 2016 as a result of a "favourable sales volume and lower level of trade promotion" compared to the previous year.

Net income or the year ended 31 December was US$3.5m, or $0.22 per share, compared to $2m, or $0.12 per share, in fiscal 2015. Net sales increased by 4.5% to $123.9m. Operating profit increased to $6m from $4.4m previously.

Gross profit increased $5.1m to $35m compared to the previous year. Lifeway said gross profit as a percentage of net sales increased 310 basis points to 28.3% from 25.2% in the prior year "driven by lower trade promotion and favourable milk costs". Milk costs were approximately 7% lower in 2016 compared to 2015.

The bulk of Lifeway's sales are generated domestically but the company is building a business in international markets. The group said its products are available "on a small, but growing basis" in Canada, Latin America and the UK. 

In October, Lifeway said it was entering the Irish market to start selling its kefir cultured milk smoothies at "many popular retailers".