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News Dairy

Dairy giant Yili reports growth in revenue and profit

May 10, 2024 - Wouter Baan

In 2023, the Chinese dairy giant Yili continued to increase its revenue and profits, although the growth rate was slightly less impressive than in previous years. In the first quarter of 2024, revenue even showed a small decline, although profits improved. This is evident from the annual figures and quarterly update published this week.

Since 2016, Yili has consistently achieved growing revenue figures, a trend that continued in 2023. Last year, revenue grew by just under 2.5% to 126 billion Chinese Renminbi, equivalent to €16.1 billion, placing the company among the world's top five dairy enterprises. However, this growth rate was lower than in 2022 when revenue growth exceeded 10%.

Profit increased to approximately €1.3 billion, resulting in an impressive profit margin of 8.3%. Additionally, cash flow improved significantly over the past fiscal year.

A significant portion of the revenue (almost 70%) is generated from liquid dairy products, although this segment experienced limited growth in 2023. Nearly a quarter of the revenue comes from milk powder trading, which grew by 5% last year. The ice cream division, although relatively small, experienced strong growth of over 10% last year. Yili's foreign activities also grew by a similar percentage.

The Chinese dairy giant is also active in the Netherlands, with its own innovation center located at Wageningen University's campus, which was recently expanded. Additionally, the company holds a majority stake in Ausnutria, which operates various production facilities in the Netherlands, although they are currently undergoing reorganization. Ausnutria is also a shareholder in Farmel.

For 2024, the company expects further increases in revenue and profits. However, this expectation was not fully reflected in the first quarter, as revenue slightly weakened. Nevertheless, profits in the first few months of 2024 were 18.2% higher than the same period last year.

Wouter Baan

Wouter Baan is the editor-in-chief of Farmerbusiness and a market specialist in dairy, pork, and meat at DCA Market Intelligence. He also tracks developments within the agribusiness sector and conducts interviews with CEOs and policymakers.