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Yili reports net loss and blames tainted milk scandal

CHINA'S Yili Industrial Group reported a net loss last year as a result of the baby formula milk scandal, according to its statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange Market yesterday.

The company did not disclose the size of the loss attributed to the scandal, but net loss for the producer stood at 20.6 million yuan (US$3.01 million) in 2007. The first three quarters last year saw a net loss of 109 million yuan.

A report from Morgan Stanley predicted the company's 2008 loss at 2.3 billion yuan. Chen Lianfang, a senior dairy analyst with Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant, agreed with the figure. Yili was more affected by the scandal than domestic rivals Mengniu Dairy Co and Bright Dairy & Food Co, as Yili took a bigger domestic market share of milk power. The company at the heart of the scandal, the now-bankrupt Sanlu Group, had a 17-percent share.

Mengniu Dairy was expected to record a net loss of 900 million yuan in the first half of last year. Bright Dairy posted a third quarter loss of 271 million yuan last year and was expected to experience a full year loss.


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