Betta Milk is performing above expectations for new owner TasFoods Limited, which has reported strong revenue growth.
"This was a transformational year for TasFoods, with a major step change in our dairy portfolio resulting from the strategic acquisition of Betta Milk," TasFoods executive chairman Shane Noble said in the Launceston-headquartered company's report including its preliminary results for calendar year 2019.
"The acquisition has balanced our business, with the dairy segment representing 30 per cent of total sales revenue in financial year 2019, up from 16 per cent in financial year 2018.
"Betta Milk performed ahead of expectations, with its sales for the first five months 10 per cent above the previous corresponding period."
TasFoods announced its $11.5 million purchase of Burnie-based Betta's milk processing assets and brands in May.
The deal was completed in late July.
As well as the gains from Betta Milk, TasFoods achieved solid 12 per cent sales growth from its other operations.
It said that was driven by a 29 per cent increase in sales in the dairy segment (not including Betta) and 9 per cent growth in the poultry segment.
Total sales revenue of $50.69 million was up by 32 per cent compared to 2018.
Gross profit climbed by 20 per cent to $12.83 million.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were negative $1.16 million, which was a 4 per cent deterioration from the previous year due to acquisition costs.
However, the company achieved its first ever positive half-yearly EBITDA ($46,000) in the second half of 2019, in a sign of progress in its drive to become profitable.O
Operating EBITDA improved from negative $924,000 to negative $658,000.
Dairy sales revenue, including the Betta Milk numbers, were 287 per cent stronger in the December quarter than in the corresponding quarter of 2018.
"Integration of Pyengana Dairy products into Betta Milk's distribution network in quarter four, 2019, contributed to a 49 per cent increase in Pyengana Milk sales for the quarter compared to quarter four, 2018," TasFoods said.
"Other highlights included a 43 per cent increase in Robur Farms goat dairy sales and a 21 per cent increase in Pyengana Cheese sales compared to quarter four, 2018."
It said those increases were mainly driven by sales into interstate markets.
Poultry revenue in the fourth quarter was 13 per cent stronger than a year earlier.
TasFoods said a $2.5 million investment in two extra chicken growing sheds completed in the third quarter contributed to the revenue growth.