China-focused infant formula firm Synutra International has cut its full-year sales and profits guidance following a weaker-than-expected first quarter.

For the three months to the end of June, Synutra saw net sales rise by 22.5% to US$53.6m. However, the group still lowered its full-year sales outlook to a range of $380m to $400m, versus a previous range of $400m to $420m. Net sales hit $342m in the firm’s previous fiscal year.

Synutra blamed the weaker-than-expected first-quarter sales on distributors stocking up on its products in the final quarter of the previous year, in order to avoid a planned price increase.

The group also cut its net profit forecast for its current fiscal year, to between $50m and $57m versus a predicted range of $55m to $65m previously. In the first quarter, the group remained in the red, with net losses deepening by 3.5% to almost $9.8m. 

Synutra chairman and CEO Liang Zhang said: “Although we are working through a challenging period in the fiscal first half, we continue to be encouraged with our opportunities in the second half of our fiscal year.”