Baby food maker Mead Johnson has upped its full-year earnings forecast after international growth led to a “strong” second quarter for the company.

Mead Johnson said yesterday (23 July) that it now sees earnings per share of US$2.07-2.17 for 2009.

The company, which listed in the US in February, said that when earnings per share is adjusted for costs linked to the IPO, its non-GAAP forecast stands at US$2.15-2.25.

The increase in the non-GAAP forecast is linked to factors including expected sales growth of 5-6% and higher margins.

During the second quarter of 2009, Mead Johnson enjoyed “double-digit” sales growth in Asia, although group turnover fell from US$728.6m a year earlier to US$719.3m due in part to foreign exchange. Net earnings rose from US$114.2m to US$134.5m.

““We continue to see the success of our global growth strategies as evidenced by our strong results for the second quarter,” said CEO Stephen Golsby.

“Our sales performance in constant dollars reflects continued double-digit growth in Asia, as well as strong contributions from our other international operations.”

US pharmaceutical group Bristol-Myers Squibb still owns an 85% stake in Mead Johnson.