Got milk: Bubs Australia leading the dairy formula pack as ANS listing remains uncertain
Food & Agriculture
Food & Agriculture
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The stream of good news for infant formula maker Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) has that company leading the dairy formula pack in the past month, up 43 per cent and with a market cap pushing $600 million.
But the crew’s newest would-be member, Australian Nutrition & Sports, is yet to join the ASX, nearly a month on from its targeted date of listing.
Bubs shares were fetching 45.5c at the start of the year but have risen 184 per cent as a swathe of positive news has made it the small cap dairy stock to beat — and the one best placed to join the big players like Bellamy’s (ASX:BAL), Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) and A2 Milk (ASX:A2M).
The company’s China strategy is paying dividends (well, not literally): its 2019 half-year revenue was $21 million, exceeding the $17 million it banked for all of 2018, which in itself was a 330 per cent increase on the 2017 financial year. Chinese sales were up 2,281 per cent compared with the prior year.
In March came news Beingmate Baby & Child Food Co, a $1.3 billion Chinese infant formula business, would sell Bubs’ infant formula and organic baby food products in China.
And, since we last checked on the dairy formula sub-sector, the company signed a national Australian distribution deal with Chemist Warehouse, which further boosted its China presence, as the major discount pharmacy retailer has an online store at Tmall Global — the Alibaba-owned platform which lets international companies sell into China.
It also picked up a $31.4 million cornerstone investment from C2 Capital Partners and acquired Australia Deloraine Dairy, a China-licensed infant formula manufacturing facility in Melbourne, including ownership of three brand slots with SAMR technical applications in process.
Bubs released its quarterly report on Tuesday, outlining gross revenue of $11.8 million for the March quarter, which featured $6.9 million in revenue for the month of March alone, the company’s best month. It has a healthy $13 million in the bank.
“We want to focus a lot less on bottled milk and a lot more on formula as we shift towards becoming a nutritionals business,” CEO Peter Skene recently told investors.
Australian Nutrition & Sports was due to list on April 3 under the code ANS, but ASIC issued an interim stop notice two days after the offer closed.
The ASX’s list of upcoming floats has the targeted listing date as TBD, while ANS’ website notes the offer has been extended, with a new prospectus to be released “shortly”.
A spokesperson for the company told Stockhead a replacement prospectus would be issued by the end of May.
“We need to issue an replacement prospectus as required by ASIC/ASX. We have taken the chance to re-cut the deal with new terms to be approved at EGM. It is the best to discuss the new offer terms once it is approved and the replacement prospectus is lodged, expecting mid to late May,” they said.