Infant formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition has upped its forecast for annual sales and profits for the second time in four months after a "strong" second quarter.

The US company yesterday (28 July) set its estimate for annual non-GAAP earnings per share at US$2.70-2.75, up from $2.62-2.70.

This forecast excludes costs from some "specified items" like costs from changes to Mead Johnson's IT systems.

On a GAAP basis, Mead Johnson expects its EPS to reach $2.43-2.48, compared its earlier forecast of $2.35-2.43.

The company also lifted its sales forecast and estimates they will rise by 14%, up from its forecast in April of 10%.

Mead Johnson posted an 8.8% increase in second-quarter net earnings to $132.1m. EBIT was up 17.8% at $203.7m. Its net sales jumped 22% to $932m.

"We are very pleased with our strong sales and earnings performance in the second quarter," said CEO Stephen Golsby. "Our emerging markets business continued to deliver exceptional growth, led by China and Hong Kong and our markets in Latin America."

Over the first six months of 2011, Mead Johnson saw its net earnings increase 12.6% to $278.2m. EBIT increased 15% to $426.3m. Net sales climbed to $1.83bn.

Looking at the rest of 2011, Golsby was cautious. "We will face headwinds in the second half of the year from significantly higher commodity costs and more challenging comparisons with the prior year, but I'm pleased with the positive momentum in the business," he said.

Click here for the full statement from Mead Johnson.