ABN Newswire http://www.abnnewswire.net Wed, 28 June 2017 13:49:29 newsroom@abnnewswire.net newsroom@abnnewswire.net 60 <![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Announces Company Leadership Changes ]]> en88882 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/88882/ Tue, 27 June 2017 09:01:58 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) Chairman Stephen Chapman today announced that Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Christine Holgate will be leaving Blackmores after nine years at the helm of Australia's leading natural healthcare company. Christine Holgate has accepted the position as Chief Executive Officer of Australia Post and will leave the company on 29 September.

"It is with regret that we announce Christine's departure from Blackmores as CEO and Managing Director," said Mr Stephen Chapman. "On behalf of our Board, our staff and our shareholders, I would like to thank Christine for her outstanding leadership and excellent contribution to Blackmores' success."

"The Board has asked Director Marcus Blackmore to return from sabbatical to step in as Interim CEO prior to the Board appointing a new Chief Executive Officer. We have a clear strategy in place and a strong executive team, including potential CEO candidates, to take the company forward," said Mr Chapman.

The Board is pleased to also announce that Stephen Chapman, who took on the role as acting Chairman whilst Marcus was on leave, will continue on as Chairman after the new CEO has been appointed. Marcus Blackmore will continue as a Director of the company with an added responsibility as Brand President.

"Blackmores has enjoyed great success under Christine's leadership," said Marcus Blackmore. "We've continued our expansion into Asia and diversified our earnings through growth of our core segments and key acquisitions. Importantly, she has been a champion for the values that have steered this company for the last 85 years."

"Christine's legacy is a program of transformation which has enabled our Group to adapt to some significant market changes in recent years. She is a very dear friend to Blackmores and to me personally," said Marcus Blackmore. "I would like to congratulate her on her new appointment and wish her every success in the future."

"I'd like to personally thank Christine for the outstanding leadership she has provided," said Marcus Blackmore. "She has strengthened our strategy and management team so we are exceptionally well positioned for the future."

"I am so appreciative of the opportunity Marcus gave me to lead Blackmores nine years ago and I am proud of what we have achieved together," said Christine Holgate. "If I reflect on what I believe makes Blackmores people special, it is a shared purpose to help others improve and empower their lives through natural health. I have no doubt that it has been working with Marcus and the team at Blackmores that made me recognise my responsibility to contribute to society."

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
M: +61-409-102-122

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<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Key Appointments in China ]]> en88770 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/88770/ Fri, 16 June 2017 15:07:48 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF), Australia's leading natural health company, has been appointed in a key leadership advisory role to the China Association for Quality Inspection (CAQI), a high level non-profit Chinese organisation with responsibility for product quality inspection.

The recognition as Vice President Company of CAQI was furthered with the appointment of Peter Osborne, Blackmores Managing Director, Asia, as Vice Chairman of CAQI's Advisory Committee - the first and only foreign citizen to hold a CAQI board position.

Both Blackmores and Peter Osborne have been appointed for a five-year term.

"I am incredibly proud that Blackmores and Peter Osborne have been honoured with these appointments. I believe they reflect the respect that China has for Australia's stringent regulatory systems and their confidence in the quality of goods manufactured in Australia," said Blackmores CEO Christine Holgate.

"China is a hugely important part of Blackmores' global business, as it is for many Australian companies. In my view, this appointment reflects the importance of Australia as a trading partner with China and will assist in developing stronger cooperation between our two great nations," she said.

Mr Zhang Ming, CAQI's Vice Chairman, speaking from their headquarters in Beijing said, "The China Association for Quality Inspection is very pleased to have recently appointed Australia's leading healthcare brand Blackmores as Vice-President Company and its Managing Director Asia Mr Peter Osborne as Honorary Vice Chairman of CAQI's advisory committee. Blackmores' commitment to quality, research and ensuring efficacy and consumer understanding of healthcare products will greatly support CAQI's focus in this growing category in China. CAQI believes we can all work together to pursue premium product quality without national boundaries."

"I believe Peter Osborne is uniquely positioned to serve on the CAQI board. It builds on his 23 years of diplomatic experience working for Austrade in the region, and the eight years spent overseeing Blackmores growth and transformation in Asia. I know that Peter will make a valuable contribution in his role as Vice Chairman of CAQI," said Christine Holgate.

"Growth in China is a core strategic focus for Blackmores and we are continuing to invest in the region. I'm delighted to announce the appointment of a new senior member of our Asian leadership team, Jeff Zhang, General Manager, China," said Christine Holgate.

Jeff Zhang has extensive management experience, leading a number of major global brands in China. Most recently Jeff was with Murray Goulburn in China spearheading new strategies for offline and cross border e-commerce channel development in China for Australian dairy products. His experience extends to understanding the regulatory complexities and opportunities in the market for Australian companies. Jeff holds a degree in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Durham in the UK. He starts his role with Blackmores on Monday.

Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

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<![CDATA[ Paws Firmly Planted for Growth in Multibillion-Dollar Pet Health Market ]]> en88174 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/88174/ Thu, 4 May 2017 21:00:05 GMT NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Pets are the loyal, much-loved companions we humans can't seem to live without, and when a beloved pet becomes ill, owners will generally do whatever it takes to restore these beloved companion animals to health. Various public companies are accomplishing the two-fold mission of improving the health of our four-footed friends while giving investors the opportunity to capitalize on a multibillion-dollar industry. India Globalization Capital, Inc. (NYSE:IGC) (IGC Profile), VCA, Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF), PetMed Express, Inc. (NASDAQ:PETS), Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:BUFF) and IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDXX) are just some of the companies blazing lucrative trails in the pet health market and successfully tapping into its virtually limitless opportunities.

In 2016 alone, U.S. consumers spent over $65 billion on pet-related products (1). According to a 2013 study published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. households own approximately 218 million pets, and pet-related expenses for the average U.S. household amounts to about 1 percent of their total annual spending. Further, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association reports that pet health insurance premiums hit $774 million in the U.S. in 2015, with 1.6 million pets being insured by the end of that year. Clearly, consumers are interested in the health and wellbeing of their pets, and they're showing it with dollars.

The veterinary market is a veritable cash cow - if readers will pardon the pun - that offers virtually limitless investment potential.

One pioneering company, India Globalization Capital (IGC) is forging new paths in the medical marijuana market by exploring the potential health applications of cannabis in domesticated animals. IGC is engaged in the development of phytocannabinoid-based treatments to address pain and a variety of medical conditions, including marijuana-based therapies to treat seizures in dogs and cats.

Treatment for pet seizures represents a surprisingly large market. Statistics indicate that between 1 percent and more than 5 percent of dogs have some sort of seizure disorder, and certain canine breeds with hereditary epilepsy may have as high as 15 to 20 percent incidence of seizures. Abnormal brain activity is frequently the culprit behind canine and feline seizures, and these seizures can result in both subtle and violent convulsions, either of which is most alarming for a pet owner to witness.

IGC offers a novel therapy using cannabinoid extracts to treat such seizures in pets. The company has applied for a U.S. patent based on this therapy, which can be administered via various delivery technologies and has indications for mammals, including dogs and cats. This therapy has the potential to be useful in humans, as well. IGC anticipates conducting metabolic profiling and commencing trials.

Another company aimed at capitalizing on the opportunities of the pet health market is VCA (WOOF). This veterinary services company has become one of the largest families of animal care providers in the United States, operating more than 800 veterinary hospitals across the U.S. and in five Canadian provinces. The company also provides diagnostic services and supplies high-tech imaging to over 17,000 independent veterinary hospitals. Through its Camp Bow Wow subsidiary, VCA additionally provides doggy daycare and boarding services at more than 130 franchised locations throughout the United States.

Online pet pharmaceutical company PetMed Express (PETS), also known under the name 1-800-PetMeds, is the largest pet pharmacy in America, having served over 9 million customers and counting. PetMeds is a licensed pharmacy that dispenses FDA/EPA-approved medications for animals-the same products available from veterinarians-and employs the largest number of veterinary pharmacists in the world.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF) approaches pet health in another way, offering natural, healthy pet foods to help prevent-and in some case treat-pet illness and to foster the health of America's pets in a nutrition-based way. The company currently has approximately 6 percent share of the general pet food industry, feeding 164 million pets in the U.S. and counting. The company's products include veterinarian- and nutritionist-formulated therapeutic pet foods that can only be purchased through veterinary offices.

Pet health care innovator IDEXX Laboratories (IDXX) serves veterinarians across the globe with a wide array of diagnostic and information technology-based services and products. These products better equip and enable veterinarians to offer advanced medical care, bolster staff efficiency, and build practices that are more economically successful. The company is also a leading global provider of diagnostic tests and information for livestock and poultry, as well as tests that gauge the quality and safety of water and milk. Among its products, IDEXX offers the very first low-dose radiography system in veterinary medicine, as well as a test that enables veterinarians to detect acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease in pets earlier than ever before. IDEXX Laboratories products are sold in over 175 countries.

It's no secret that consumers love their pets, and a multibillion-dollar global industry is positive proof. Companies, such as those named, that are in the business of serving the health interests of pets provide a virtually limitless wellspring of investment opportunities in a market that is ever-growing and boasts impressive longevity to rival any other market segment in existence.

For more information on India Globalization Capital please visit India Global Capital (IGC)

Editorial Sources:

(1) American Pet Products Association: http://nnw.fm/V66et

NetworkNewsWire (NNW) 
New York, New York 
www.NetworkNewsWire.com
T: +1-212-418-1217 Office 
E: Editor@NetworkNewsWire.net

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<![CDATA[ Bubs Australia Ltd (ASX:BUB) Launch On 'Red,' China's Top Consumer Review and Commerce App ]]> en88127 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/88127/ Tue, 2 May 2017 08:57:34 GMT Bubs Australia (ASX:BUB) is the first Australian company to directly enter into a Merchant Agreement with RED (Xiaohongshu). RED is the largest and fastest growing social commerce application in China with over 40,000,000 registered users.

- Bubs Australia joins the world's largest product review database

- Provides direct access to 40 million highly targeted Chinese consumers

- Leading platform for creating demand through reviews and connectivity

Commenting on the launch, Bubs Australia Founder and Managing Director, Kristy Carr said: "RED boasts a strong community of targeted affluent mothers of today and tomorrow, providing us with invaluable insight into Chinese consumer behavior. Having our products ranged on this unique e-commerce platform will deliver brand awareness together with sales revenue growth.

"Customer reviews and social community strongly influence consumer buying decisions in China, particularly in the baby category. RED enables unrivalled word-of-mouth marketing opportunities that align closely with our 'pull-versus-push' strategy aimed at creating real sustainable demand via earned reviews and engaging mum-to-mum connection."

The RED application is the largest word-of-mouth marketing platform in China with users posting 30,000 new product reviews and comments daily. Members can discover and buy international products based on community recommendations and other consumers sharing their personal experiences. RED users focus on premium products across multiple categories (including international luxury brands and other sought-after foreign products such as cosmetics, specialty foods and mother/baby products).(See note 1)

"Given our premium positioning and unique attributes of Australian provenance, certified organic superfoods and premium goat milk formulation, the RED social platform will positively impact our brand traction and social currency," Mrs Carr said.

The Bubs full portfolio of infant formula and baby food products will be listed on RED Marketplace with orders to be fulfilled directly to consumers' homes in China. The platform also provides the opportunity to trial new products and gain insight into their appeal with Chinese consumers.

Note 1: The RED app, originally a social shopping guide, now features both C2C e-commerce and the opportunity for brands to open official cross-border e-commerce shops. (WeChat's owner TenCent is an investor in RED.)

Media enquiries and Investor Inquiries:
GRACosway
Deanne Curry
T: +61-414-388-997

For general information please contact:
E: investors@bubsaustralia.com
media@bubsaustralia.com
www.bubsaustralia.com

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<![CDATA[ Blackmores Ltd (ASX:BKL) Optimistic About Future Growth ]]> en88022 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/88022/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:03:46 GMT Blackmores Ltd (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) today announced Group sales of $496 million for the first nine months, down 6.7% compared to the previous corresponding period. Net profit after tax of $43 million was down 42.8% compared to the previous corresponding period.

Summary

- Group sales of $496M for the first nine months, 6.7% down compared to previous corresponding period and a moderate increase on second quarter despite fewer trading days

- Net profit after tax of $43M for the first nine months, down 42.8% compared to the previous corresponding period

- Invested in brand, a world-class distribution centre in Western Sydney and expansion into new markets

- The Board remains confident in future growth prospects

"The sales trend is encouraging, particularly as we finished the third quarter slightly ahead of our second quarter result despite having fewer trading days," said Blackmores Chief Executive Officer Ms Christine Holgate.

"Our profit result for the first nine months was impacted by lower sales in Australia for Blackmores which was compounded by the higher cost of operating in those channels," said Ms Holgate. "We are focused on simplifying and streamlining our business, conservatively managing expenses and investing in our brand, facilities and new markets to diversify our revenues and underpin growth."

Blackmores Australia and New Zealand achieved sales of $264 million for the nine months, down 26% compared to the previous corresponding period. "Blackmores Australia sales have steadily grown over each quarter of the year. This has still not been enough to make up for the decline in sales through Australian retailers to entrepreneurs selling to consumers in China that so heavily influenced the Australian market in the prior year."

"Chinese consumers are now purchasing through multiple channels and our China in-country and export sales increased to $92 million in the nine months, up 60% from the prior year. China remains an important part of our business and we were extremely honoured to meet with China's Premier Li Keqiang in March to share our support of his Healthy China 2030 vision," said Ms Holgate.

"In March Blackmores welcomed encouraging news from China's Ministry of Commerce which reinforced its commitment to China's free trade zones and to supporting cross border e-commerce," said Blackmores Chief Executive Officer, Christine Holgate. "We recognise that regulation in China evolves, as it does in any market, and we are focused on continuing to build a business that is able to adapt to market changes to ensure consumers continue to have access to our products."

Blackmores Greater Asia region, excluding China, generated sales of $62 million, in line with last year. Excluding Korea, which is in the process of completing a transition to a new distribution model, core markets in Asia were up 14%. Blackmores' emerging business in Indonesia has progressed well.

Blackmores signed a distribution agreement with the Mesa Group, Vietnam's leading distribution company with a network of 150,000 retail stores. Blackmores and Mesa will launch a range of 13 Blackmores products in the coming months.

"Vietnam is a market we are excited about, with enviable economic growth, a growing investment in the region and double digit growth in the vitamin and dietary supplement category and we are proud to have a distribution partner with such expertise," she said. "Our launch in Vietnam consolidates our presence in the ASEAN region and we hope that through our high quality products and leading education programs we can make a positive contribution to health in the Vietnamese community."

BioCeuticals Group, including Global Therapeutics, increased sales by 53% compared to the previous corresponding period to $76 million for the first nine months. All brands in this practitioner division are delivering strong profitable sales. The Global Therapeutics distribution centre was successfully integrated into Group operations in the quarter which will result in improved efficiencies and customer benefits.

To support sustainable industry growth, Blackmores and the Blackmore Foundation, Marcus and Caroline Blackmore's personal philanthropic trust, each gifted $5 million to the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at Western Sydney University (WSU) to further natural health research. The $10 million will be paid over seven years and will advance the global evidence-base of complementary medicine and take scientific findings into practical healthcare solutions. It represents a significant opportunity to enrich the health of the community.

OUTLOOK

"Continued consumer demand across all core markets, as well as the strong performance of our practitioner businesses and emerging markets in Asia, gives us confidence in our medium-term growth opportunities," said Ms Holgate.

"The Board expects the full year profit will represent good growth on the 2015 financial year, recognising that 2016 was an exceptional performance that we will not match. We remain confident in the Group's strategic focus and growth prospects."

To view the release including Results, please visit:
http://abnnewswire.net/lnk/N635531K


MEET THE MANAGEMENT: Special Shareholder event

INVITATION: Wednesday 31st May, 2017

This exclusive shareholder-only event will give you the unique opportunity to better understand how we work and gain deeper insight into our business.

TIME: 10am to 12pm, followed by a light lunch.

VENUE: Blackmores Warriewood Campus,
20 Jubilee Avenue, Warriewood NSW 2102.

RSVP by Friday 19th May 2017.

To RSVP please contact Robyn Taylor at:
E: rtaylor@blackmores.com.au
T: +61-2-9910-5136

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

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<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Together with Marcus Blackmore Gift $10 Million to National Institute of Complementary Medicine for Research ]]> en87741 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/87741/ Mon, 3 Apr 2017 14:16:23 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) and the Blackmore Foundation, Marcus and Caroline Blackmore's personal philanthropic trust, have each gifted $5 million to the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at Western Sydney University (WSU) to further natural health research.

The $10 million will be paid over seven years.

NICM is a global leader in complementary medicine research and policy and has been ranked by the Australian Research Council as operating at higher standards than world's best-practice.

This $10 million donation, officiated on Friday at NICM, is Blackmores' most significant investment into research and development in the history of our company.

As Marcus said:

"As industry leaders, Blackmores believes it is our responsibility to invest in complementary medicine research and to support innovation in this field. NICM is a world-class research facility, and we are very proud to provide this untied donation to help advance science and innovation in complementary medicine. Blackmores' gift to the University will not only support the Australian research community in furthering the country's global leadership in this area, most importantly, it will contribute to the knowledge base, which in turn, will help improve public health."

Ultimately, this research will advance the global evidence-base of complementary medicine and take scientific findings into practical healthcare solutions that will improve public health.

Over the past 12 months, Blackmores has engaged in 24 active research projects, clinical trials and scholarly activities across Australia and Asia. In 2015 we made a significant, unencumbered donation of $1.3m to Sydney University's Medical School to fund The Maurice Blackmore Chair of Integrative Medicine over five years.

Blackmores is enormously proud of the legacy that this gift to NICM will make towards the advancement of complementary medicine research, innovation, and research translation, and the contribution this will make to the wellbeing of the community.

Shareholder Contact:
Cecile Cooper
Company Secretary
T: +61-2-9910-5136

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<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Receives Prestigious Quality Recognition from Chinese Government ]]> en87575 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/87575/ Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:06:29 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) has been awarded the prestigious Product and Service Quality Demonstration Company Certificate from the China Association for Quality Inspection (CAQI), an association under the supervision of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ).

The certificate was awarded as part of the 2017 annual '315' Consumer Day in China. The Certificate recognises companies that have demonstrated exceptional product quality and service to consumers in China.

The Certificate is awarded only to companies who have no quality issues over a three year period with exceptional quality control and high social responsibility.

In 2017, a total of 2,000 certificates were issued to companies in China, with only about 200 being issued to foreign invested enterprises. In the health products category Blackmores was one of the 20 foreign companies to be awarded the Certificate. Blackmores is Australia's number one natural health brand with an 85 year heritage, reaching consumers in 16 markets.

Speaking in Beijing after receiving the award, Blackmores Managing Director Asia, Mr Peter Osborne said, "Receiving the Product and Service Quality Demonstration Company Certificate from the China Association for Quality Inspection is a huge honour for Blackmores and we deeply appreciate the support of CAQI and AQSIQ for recognising our product quality and service."

Mr Osborne also noted that, "Blackmores' commitment to quality ensures we consistently meet or exceed the expectations of our customers and comply with Australia and China's high regulatory standards and requirements. We source premium ingredients from approved raw material suppliers around the world, testing them in accredited laboratories for identity, purity and potency. Every Blackmores' product passes through more than 30 rigorous quality checks and tests before being released for sale."

"We're so proud to receive this recognition and would especially like to thank all of our suppliers who work so closely with us to ensure we provide the world's leading natural health solutions," said Blackmores Chief Executive Officer, Christine Holgate.

As a foreign company in China, Blackmores maintains strict compliance to the Quality Development Plan issued by the State Council, consistent with the views of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

Speaking in Sydney today, Christine Holgate said, "We are extremely pleased that the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is arriving in Australia this week and I look forward to participating in the program of his visit and to having the opportunity to discuss how we can make a positive contribution to his Healthy China 2030 vision."

Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

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<![CDATA[ YPB Group Ltd (ASX:YPB) Updated Outlook for 2017 ]]> en86868 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/86868/ Thu, 2 Feb 2017 10:41:06 GMT Brand Protection and Customer Engagement solutions company YPB Group Ltd (ASX:YPB) is pleased to provide an updated outlook for 2017.

- 2017 profit outlook confirmed at $5m pre-tax

- Annualised operating cost base reduction of 40% by mid-2017 following strategy refinements

- Possible non-recurring restructuring charge in the range $0.50m - 0.75m

- Breakeven expectation delayed three months due to contract closure slippages - now expected end June 2017

YPB has concluded its Annual Operating Plan (AOP) process, reconfirming the expectation of a $5m pretax profit for the year to December 2017. This figure is, however, prior to a potential once-off restructuring charge (discussed in more detail below).

The profit expectation is maintained despite a three month delay in the expected timing of breakeven from the end of March 2017 to the end of June 2017. This slippage is due to contract closures taking longer than expected and therefore first revenues from these deals flowing later than expected.

The key outcome of the AOP was a refinement of strategy that will see a narrower focus of management effort, allowing a reduction in annual operating costs from $11.1m to $6.5m per annum.

Approximately 95% of the planned savings in monthly spend will be delivered by May 2017 with full benefits achieved by August 2017. The changes are unlikely to diminish YPB's revenue potential, with the most likely reconfiguration expected to substantially enhance revenues.

The obvious financial benefit from the refined strategy is securing a breakeven position at a lower revenue base and with less risk, while magnifying profit leverage to revenue growth.

The AOP was due to conclude in December but was delayed due to strategic opportunities in key territories arising in late November. These opportunities will improve market access, lower costs and enhance profit potential.

The most important opportunity is the change from a direct sales force to a partnership model in key territories where YPB's costs have been traditionally high. This prospect arose in late November and has progressed well in the New Year, with targeted partners believing their home markets are ripe for YPB product.

The trade-off for YPB in partnering is lower percentage margin but this penalty is irrelevant in light of the benefits of high quality partners. In one key territory under negotiation, any margin foregone is dwarfed by the potential revenue and profit uplift from vastly superior client access, market reach, organisational credibility and speed to market. This partner is a household name in its home market with a decades-old country-wide distribution network. Higher revenues with minimal costs and capital requirements is a compelling outcome of partnering.

Please note that it is possible that the most valuable partnership currently in train may not be concluded. Nevertheless, the process is well advanced and contractual closure is presently expected to be concluded in Q1 2017. Upon closure, more detail will be provided to the market regarding this new partnership.

The $4.5m per annum in annualised overhead savings noted above is not dependent on the conclusion of any partnerships and will be implemented regardless. The incidence of restructuring charge is, however, possibly dependent on conclusion of the key partnership referred to above and the model adopted. One possible scenario would see YPB incur minimal restructuring costs. In the event of YPB bearing all costs, a once-off charge of $0.50m - $0.75m is likely in H1 2017.

The primary variable in achieving the stated 2017 profit expectation is conversion of opportunity into revenue. If revenues are not achieved as expected, profit will not be achieved as expected. There are, however, solid reasons to anticipate strong and sufficient revenue growth despite some unexpected delays in 2016. YPB is undoubtedly in a much stronger and more prospective position than it was in 2016 given:

- The assembly of the full, new executive team was only completed in Q3 2016. This year management will hit the ground running with greater experience and skill in dealing with client opportunities and barriers to contract closure.

- The opportunity pipeline filled rapidly over 2016, particularly in H2. Starting 2017, new business momentum is strong and leagues ahead of that as at the start of 2016. Not only has the magnitude of the pipeline grown over the past year but the passage of time means the number of mature projects closer to conclusion is also greater than in 2016.

- Key Multiplier Partnerships established in late 2016 with leading packaging companies such as Orora Ltd (ASX:ORA) (OTCMKTS:ORRAF), Impact International and L&E are expected to yield new revenue across multiple clients.

- Ease of conversion to increase following the signing of household name banner clients. Prominent reference clients reduce career risk for client personnel championing YPB's novel technologies.

- Upgraded versions of the key software platforms SECURETRACK and CONNECT being available expected to accelerate the pace of adoption.

- The incidence of competitive solutions being offered to clients presently engaged with YPB remains close to zero.

Finally, in considering whether the revenues necessary for profitability can be achieved, it is pertinent that the size of the opportunity pipeline and potential revenues currently in development are well ahead of the revenues necessary to achieve the company's profit expectations. In other words, only relatively modest pipeline conversion rates are necessary to achieve revenue and profit targets.

Since last updating the market in September 2016, the total pipeline value has fallen from $128m to $112m for three reasons:

- Conversion from pipeline into realised sales and hence removal from the pipeline. This includes client wins such as Blackmores (ASX:BKL), Impact International, L&E, Dan Murphy's, BWS, Lorna Jane and Mama Care;

- Reduction in expected value of certain contracts following refinement of scope as projects have advanced with clients; and

- Seeking to further improve reward for sales efforts, resulting in a range of small value projects being removed from the pipeline for the time being.

Advanced projects value has fallen from $65m to $37m for the three reasons just noted. Intermediate projects has increased from $64m to $75m, partly due to the change in classification from Advanced projects resulting from slippage of clients' timetables. The total number of projects increased from 96 to 98. The number of advanced projects has fallen from 55 to 18 with 26 of the deletions being small projects. The number of Intermediate projects has risen from 41 to 80.

YPB Executive Chairman John Houston said: "After a detailed and exhaustive process we are pleased to be able to reconfirm our profit expectations for 2017, despite slippage in the anticipated timing of breakeven. The refinements to strategy developed in the AOP enhance the prospect of successful execution and the major cost-out decisions increase potential profitability and potential profit leverage without sacrificing opportunity. These changes reflect our determination to secure YPB's future as a highly profitable, self-sustaining and strongly growing business."

Mr. John Houston 
Executive Chairman
YPB Group Limited
T: +61-458-701-088 
E: john.houston@ypbsystems.com 

Mr. Gerard Eakin
Director
YPB Group Limited
T: +61-427-011-596
E: eakin@manifestcapital.com
W: www.ypbsystems.com

Media and Investor Enquiries

Matthew Wright
NWR Communications
T: +61-451-896-420
E: matt@nwrcommunications.com.au

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<![CDATA[ YPB Group Ltd (ASX:YPB) Company Update and Appendix 4C ]]> en86811 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/86811/ Wed, 1 Feb 2017 09:32:04 GMT Brand Protection and Customer Engagement solutions company YPB Group Ltd (ASX:YPB) is pleased to provide a summary of activities for the quarter ended 31 December 2016.

- Highest revenue quarter since inception

- Lowest net cash outflow quarter for the year

- Strategy and financial outlook update to be issued in the coming days

Key achievements for the quarter included:

- Concluding a supply agreement with multi-national packaging innovator Orora Limited (ASX:ORA) whereby Orora will offer the YPB PROTECT, DETECT, CONNECT range to its customer base. The supply agreement superseded an MOU with Orora signed in May 2016 and marked the start of the marketing of YPB's solutions to Orora's customers.

- Signing a Master Supply Agreement with Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) allowing YPB's solutions to be employed across the Blackmores range.

- Commencing supply of YPB's invisible tracer to Mamacare, a leading brand of nutritional products for pregnant and nursing mothers, initially to PROTECT its export range.

- Securing 350 new stores with bespoke Retail Anti-Theft solutions. The new customers included Lorna Jane with 200 stores in Australia and USA plus two national chains with 150 stores in total.

- Winning a three year contract with a top tier global pharmaceutical company for forensic laboratory services and IP protection solutions design and implementation.

- Signing a strategic partnership with leading USA packaging design and manufacturing company L&E to offer YPB's full suite of Brand Protection and Customer Engagement solutions to its customer base. L&E's customers include household name global athletic footwear and apparel brands.

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

Q4 2016 cash flows were in line with expectations and the best for the year. Cash receipts for Q4 were $0.930m the highest quarterly cash receipts ever and up from $0.529m in the Q3. There was some small "catch up" in Q4 from the low Q3 but new business was the primary contributor to the clear improvement.

Gross cash outflows in Q4 were approximately $0.240m lower than Q3, with an accelerated R&D spend offset by lower staff and administration costs. Q4 saw $0.5m R&D spend, half of the year's total, occur in the quarter as development of the CONNECT Customer Engagement software platform was accelerated due to customer interest. This spend level is likely to be maintained in Q l 2017 but then fall quickly in subsequent quarters as presently targeted functionality modules are completed. The 13.7% fall in staff, administration and corporate costs in Q4 was impacted by timing and a modest rise is expected in Q l 2017, though this will remain below Q3 levels.

Due to the higher cash receipts in Q4 and well controlled costs, net cash outflow was the lowest for the year at $1.994m.

A successful equity raising was conducted in Q4 with approximately $4m raised from an existing shareholder at $0.25 per share.

Cash at the end of Q4 was $2.752m, up from $0.600m at the end of Q3.

Please note that the Appendix 4C includes "estimated cash outflows for next quarter" at item 9. This is a gross cash outflows forecast and should not be compared to the net cash flow figure in item 1 of the Appendix 4C. Q l 2017 gross cash outflows are likely to be largely in line with those of Q4 2016.

Please also note that an updated outlook for 2017 will be released to the ASX in the coming days. YPB conducts its annual planning work in late November and December of each year to develop its Annual Operating Plan (AOP). Conclusion of the AOP has taken longer than expected this year due to new strategic opportunities arising during the AOP process. These opportunities would result in expanded market reach and a much lower YPB cost base. Final determination of the plan's details is now in train and will be released to the market as soon as it is concluded.

YPB Executive Chairman John Houston said: "As anticipated, Q4 2016 was the best cashflow quarter for the year and clear progress is being made. We look forward to presenting the updated 2017 outlook to the market in the coming days."

To view full Quarterly Report including Appendix 4C, please visit:
http://abnnewswire.net/lnk/M05J5UA7

Mr. John Houston 
Executive Chairman
YPB Group Limited
T: +61-458-701-088 
E: john.houston@ypbsystems.com 

Mr. Gerard Eakin
Director
YPB Group Limited
T: +61-427-011-596
E: eakin@manifestcapital.com
W: www.ypbsystems.com

Media and Investor Enquiries

Matthew Wright
NWR Communications
T: +61-451-896-420
E: matt@nwrcommunications.com.au

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ YPB Group Ltd (ASX:YPB) Master Supply Agreement Signed with Blackmores (ASX:BKL) ]]> en85671 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/85671/ Mon, 21 Nov 2016 09:24:50 GMT Brand Protection and Customer Engagement solutions company YPB Group Limited (ASX:YPB) has signed a two-year Master Supply Agreement (MSA) with Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) under which YPB's suite of Brand Protection and Customer Engagement solutions can be deployed across the Blackmores range. The MSA sets the framework for the supply of YPB products and services to Blackmores.

- YPB to provide its full range of products and services to Blackmores under two year agreement

- The momentum in YPB's IP commercialisation plan is building

YPB's PROTECT solution is a patented, invisible, indestructible, uncopiable tracer or marker which can be seamlessly and easily incorporated into plastics, inks and fibres to create protected, intelligent packaging. The tracer is used to confirm the authenticity of a product in conjunction with YPB's patented scanner. The intelligent packaging can then be used with YPB's TRACK AND TRACE solution to DETECT counterfeit goods and ensure supply chain integrity, a major issue for exporters. Finally, the intelligent packaging can become the trigger for a customer to want to CONNECT directly with the brand. As far as YPB is aware it is the only company globally with a complete end-to-end solutions suite allowing a brand to PROTECT its products, DETECT counterfeit and supply chain problems, and CONNECT directly to end customers.

YPB Executive Chairman John Houston said: "The opportunity to work with Blackmores is an important endorsement of our vision to help Western exporters realise the potential of Asia while protecting and growing the value of their brands. With the technologies and talent in place, the commercialisation of our valuable and unique intellectual property is clearly gathering momentum."

Mr. John Houston 
Executive Chairman
T: +61-458-701-088 
E: john.houston@ypbsystems.com 

Mr. Gerard Eakin
Director
T: +61-427-011-596
E: eakin@manifestcapital.com
W: www.ypbsystems.com

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) 2016 AGM Presentation ]]> en85341 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/85341/ Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:26:12 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) is pleased to provide its 2016 AGM Presentation.

F16 COMMITMENT TO SHAREHOLDERS

"We remain focused on our strategic priorities. Demand for our products continues to grow and we are taking this opportunity to invest in our existing business and to establish new platforms and partnerships to extend our brand and expertise. We are committed to growing this business delivering improved shareholder returns in the coming year."

AN EXCEPTIONAL YEAR

- Group Sales of $717m, up 52%

- Record NPAT of $100.0m, up 115%

- EBIT margin improvement from 15% to 20%

- Operating cash flow of $84m, up 18%

- Cash conversion ratio of 81%

- Net debt $17m post acquisition of Global Therapeutics

- Earning per share of 581 cents, up 115%

- Dividends were 410 cents, up 102%

F16 HIGHLIGHTS

- Every region and brand delivered strong growth

- Recognised as one of Australia's best employers by AON Hewitt

- 117 new products launched across the Group

- Significantly invested in infrastructure and new businesses to build future pipeline

- Secured supply in a constrained environment, building reserves of scarce materials

- Acquired Global Therapeutics in May 2016 - Australian market leader in Chinese herbal medicine category

- Entered ASX 100

- Record payouts to key stakeholders - shareholders, staff and Australian Government

OPERATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS

- Total current assets have increased by 57% commensurate with business growth

- Inventory increased to $116m to ensure stock is held to meet demand, secured scarce raw materials, plus integration of Global Therapeutics.

- Invested in robotics and quadruple head counters, expanded our facilities footprint and our staff to increase capacity and improve productivity

- High staff engagement

F16 SUMMARY

- Exceptional year of performance

- Strong progress on delivering our strategic priorities

- Blackmores now the largest Asia Pacific natural health company

- Asia is increasingly important to our future

- Exited the year with a more diversified business, with a strong balance sheet and built new platforms for growth

- Key stakeholders rewarded

YEAR END SUMMARY AND AUGUST OUTLOOK

- Pleased with progress delivering strategic priorities

- Advised shareholders that first quarter financial results would be impacted by challenges in Australia

-- Major retailers destocking -- Changes in how exporters acquire products

- Encouraged by strong consumer demand, growing momentum in Asia and BioCeuticals

- Need to develop our business model, build new channels, adapt our cost base and accelerate our transition to support our changing retail landscape

FIRST QUARTER UPDATE

- Blackmores Australia sales down 40% to $68 million

-- Destocking impact circa $17m

-- Changes in how Chinese exporters buy, impact circa $28m

-- 20% of Australian sales influenced by Chinese shoppers

-- Australian consumer demand strong - Blackmores remains leader

- Asia sales contributed $51m, up 75% - Record Quarter

-- China in-country sales contributed $14m, up 135%

-- New China export division contributed $17m, up 356%

-- Total China direct sales $31m, up 222%

- BioCeuticals at $19m, up 17% - Record Quarter

- Global Therapeutics contributed $6m - Record Quarter

- Launched in Indonesia

- Lower volumes resulted in higher recovery costs

- Took immediate action to contain costs

OUTLOOK

- Australian market improving but remains challenged

-- Sales trajectory improved in the quarter

-- Impact of excess stock in Australia has eased

- Progress made in building new channels

- Blackmores Asia, BioCeuticals and Global Therapeutics all continuing to perform

- Embarked on cost structure review to enable continued investment and build profits

- Unlikely to match exceptional F16 full year profit

- Expect second quarter to be stronger than the first quarter

- Board remains confident in the Group's strategic focus and long-term growth prospects

To view the presentation, please visit:
http://abnnewswire.net/lnk/4QT99WO4

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) F17 First Quarter Results Announcement ]]> en85339 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/85339/ Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:23:05 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) today reported first quarter Group sales of $149 million, down 8.1% compared to the previous corresponding period. Net profit after tax (NPAT) was $12 million for the quarter, down 46.6% on the previous corresponding period.

Summary

- Group sales of $149 million, 8.1% down compared to previous corresponding period

- Net profit after tax of $12 million, down 46.6% compared to previous corresponding period

- Consumer demand remains strong both in Australia and internationally, and Blackmores is the clear market leader in Australia

- Australian sales were impacted by retailers reducing excess stock and changing buying patterns of Chinese exporters

- Blackmores China business contributed $31m, up 220%, compared to previous corresponding period

- Blackmores Asia, BioCeuticals and Global Therapeutics all delivered strong growth

"Though trading conditions were challenging at the start of the financial year, we finished the quarter in a stronger position than we started with improved sales and profitability momentum," said Chief Executive Officer Christine Holgate. "Importantly, consumer demand remains high, though our profit result for the first quarter was impacted by softer sales in Australia primarily as a result of changes in the export market which previously was largely serviced through Australian retailers."

"The lower Australian sales impacted our ability to recover the cost of our operational infrastructure which is reflected in our lower earnings before interest and tax," she said. "It is important we continue to focus on adapting our business and continuing to invest for longer-term growth."

"Our China business, comprising in-country sales and sales from our new export division to service the Chinese market, delivered $31 million, up 220% compared to the prior corresponding period," said Christine Holgate. "The rapid growth of sales through these channels is encouraging as it validates continuing demand for our products in China."

"Blackmores Australia sales of $68 million were down 40% compared to the prior corresponding period as Chinese exporters transitioned to new channels and Australian retailers worked through excess stock. We estimate the impact of reducing excess stock to be $17 million with a further $28 million resulting from changes to the way exporters buy through Australian retailers. Around 20% of Australian sales in the first quarter are estimated to be to consumers in China," she said. "Pleasingly, underlying sales to Australian consumers for the first quarter were growing ahead of the category and Blackmores remains the clear market leader."

Sales of nutritional foods in partnership with Bega have been sluggish in the first quarter as the Australian market adapts to overstocking. The team is focused on launching into the China retail market later in the second quarter following the recent approval of labels that meet China's strict regulations.

"We have had nearly three years of rapid growth over which time our expenses have increased to meet demand. We are in the process of realigning our cost structure to ensure it is appropriate to the size of our business, that it enables us to best serve our customers and that it still allows for investment in new platforms for growth."

In-country Asia sales were up 37%, contributing $35 million. Direct sales to Asia were $52 million for the quarter including almost $17 million from Blackmores' new Chinese export division.

BioCeuticals sales are growing at more than 17% compared to the prior period. Their sub-brand IsoWhey was recognised with the Customer Satisfaction award in the highly competitive weight loss category at the Canstar Blue Awards in September.

"Global Therapeutics has achieved pleasing sales momentum since Blackmores acquired the leading Australian Chinese herbal medicine company in May 2016 and continues to meet our expectations," said Christine Holgate.

NEW MARKETS

Blackmores launched in Indonesia in September with encouraging early sales. The current range of 17 products is expected to grow to 29 core lines in more than 1,200 retail outlets with an established e-commerce presence by the end of the financial year.

"Indonesia is another exciting opportunity for Blackmores with an increasing number of consumers taking a greater interest in health. This growing health literacy is coupled with a growing middle class," said Christine Holgate. "Our joint venture with Kalbe enables us to partner with leaders in health and nutrition with a strong understanding of and commitment to Indonesian consumers. Together we have established a sophisticated service model that provides excellent distribution to retailers and consumers across Indonesia."

OUTLOOK

"As advised when we announced our full year results, our first quarter sales have been impacted by changes in market dynamics in Australia. Pleasingly, we entered the second quarter with an improving sales and profit trajectory, there are positive sales trends that indicate overstocking is easing, consumer demand remains robust and we have been able to capture significant new sales in China," said Christine Holgate.

"Whilst we don't expect to match last year's exceptional performance for the full year, we are pleased with the improving trends and are encouraged by new growth opportunities. At this stage, we anticipate a stronger second quarter compared to the first quarter sales and profit. The Board remains confident in the Group's strategic focus and long-term growth prospects."

To view the announcement, please visit:
http://abnnewswire.net/lnk/84A778FT

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

]]>
newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Boardroom.Media Builds on Capabilities Announcing Media Production Distribution and News Wire Partnership with ABN Newswire ]]> en85184 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/85184/ Tue, 18 Oct 2016 12:10:14 GMT Leading webcasting service provider and corporate multimedia production house Boardroom.media is pleased to announce a product and services partnership with ABN Newswire.

The agreement will see the media assets and programs including webcasts produced by Boardroom.Media distributed through ABN Newswire's network of professional platforms, finance portals, news aggregators and news outlets.

"This partnership will extend the reach of the stories we produce for our clients and add another valuable source of insights and news for ABN Newswire's audience."

"Investor relations news, virtual AGMs, corporate stories and in-depth analysis of market trends along with insights from Australia's serial Entrepreneurs, Listed Company executive teams, Asset managers and professional services teams are among the Boardroom.Media stories expected to be shared via ABN Newswire," said Boardroom.Media CEO William Canty.

Colin Alexander, ABN Newswire Chief Information Officer further commented, "The partnership with Boardroom.media has been a long time coming, and we are very excited to team up to provide what we believe will be a truly premium product. Ultimately this venture is all about providing great value to our clients and ensuring all of their corporate press and media receives the attention they deserve.

Combining in a partnership with Boardroom.media provides just that; the opportunity for an all inclusive premium service featuring both content production, media distribution and online news syndication service".

Boardroom.media and ABN News provide Investor Relations news production and syndication across all market sectors with clients including;

Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL)
MYOB Group Ltd (ASX:MYO)
Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN)
Duet Group (ASX:DUE)
Graincorp Ltd (ASX:GNC)
Quickstep Holdings Limited (ASX:QHL)
Cash Converters International Ltd (ASX:CCV)
AWE Limited (ASX:AWE)

For more information contact:

William Canty, Boardroom.Media, Chief Executive Officer on +61-2-9339-6555
Colin Alexander, ABN Newswire, Chief Information Officer on +61-2-8205-7340

William Canty
Chief Executive Officer
Boardroom.Media
T: +61-2-9339-6555
www.boardroom.media

Colin Alexander
Chief Information Officer
ABN Newswire
T: +61-2-8205-7340
www.abnnewswire.com

]]>
newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Analysts Briefing ]]> en84591 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/84591/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 12:41:40 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) are pleased to provide an Analysts Briefing for the full year financial results, year ending 30 June 2016.

RECORD SALES AND PROFITS

- Group Sales of $717m, +52%

- Group NPAT of $100m, +115%

- EBIT of $145m, +101%

- Basic Earnings per share of 580.6 cents, +114.5%

- Final dividend of 210c, taking total dividends to 410c fully franked

2015 / 2016 HIGHLIGHTS

- Leading Asia Pacific Natural Health Group

- Exceptional Year - Group Sales up 52% at $717m, NPAT up 115%

- Recognised as one of Australia's best employers by AON

- 117 New products launched across the Group

- Significantly invested in infrastructure and new businesses to build future pipeline

- Secured supply in a constrained environment, building reserves of scarce materials

- Acquired Global Therapeutics in May 2016 - Australian market leader in Chinese herbal medicine category

- Entered ASX 100

ASIA GROWTH

- Asian consumers estimated almost 50% of Group sales

- Asia in-country sales at $129m up 54%, delivering almost $15m in EBIT up 79%

- China in-country sales at $48m up 536%. Omni-channel approach in China is delivering and consumer demand continues to grow. EBIT at $12.6m up 979%

- Evolving regulations provide opportunities to expand in the retail market

- Strong sales in established markets - including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan up 11%

- Korea had a challenging second half result, negatively impacting EBIT $2.8m

- Investment in upcoming launch in Indonesia and capability in Blackmores International office as we continue to transform our business to better serve Asia

OUTLOOK

- Strong consumer demand across our business and growing market share affirming our leadership in Australia

- The Australian wholesale market is volatile and has softened in recent weeks impacted by retailers destocking and some exporters changing the channels through which they acquire products

- We expect First Quarter to be down compared to the prior corresponding period

- We are confident that sales will improve as the year progresses.

- We continue to develop our business model, building new growth channels, adapting our cost base and accelerating our transition

- Continued optimism for long-term growth.

To view the full Analysts Briefing, please visit:
http://abnnewswire.net/lnk/36R64BX3

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

]]>
newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Full Year Results Announcement ]]> en84582 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/84582/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 10:04:14 GMT Blackmores (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) has announced its fourteenth consecutive year of sales growth, delivering Group sales of $717 million, up 52% on the prior year and resulting in net profit after tax (NPAT) of $100 million, 115% up on the prior year.

Highlights:

- Group sales of $717 million, up 52% on the previous year

- Record net profit after tax of $100 million, up 115% on the previous year

- Exceptional sales in Australia, boosted by over $200 million in China influenced sales

- Acquisition of Global Therapeutics in the fourth quarter

- Final dividend of 210 cents per share, total ordinary dividends for the year were 410 cents per share (fully franked), 102% above last year's record dividends.

"Growing consumer demand for our products enabled us to realise further operational benefits and saw the Group double production capacity over the year," said Blackmores CEO Christine Holgate. "Importantly, we were able to maintain our commitment to unrivalled quality standards by further extending into our supply chain whilst productivity and efficiency was boosted."

AUSTRALIA (INCLUDING PAW)

Blackmores' Australian business delivered $495 million in sales, up 56% compared to the previous year, reflecting the strong growth from Australian consumers and further boosted by sales to Chinese tourists and exporters to satisfy the appetite for Blackmores' quality products in China.

Pure Animal Wellbeing (PAW), Blackmores' animal health division, achieved $7 million in sales (up 31%) and maintained a strong leadership position in the natural pet health market.

ASIA

In-country sales in Asia were $129 million, a 54% increase compared to the previous corresponding period, driven through a range of channels including pharmacy, online retailers and health stores.

"Pleasingly, our more established markets in Asia had a strong sales year, and while Korea experienced sales challenges, the region delivered top line growth achieving sales of $81 million (up 6%) including sales from Thailand and Malaysia," said Christine Holgate.

"Asia sales were bolstered by in-country sales in China of $48 million (up 536%). The expansion of free trade zones and our ability to serve e-commerce customers through our bonded warehouse in China have enabled us to benefit from the opportunities in Asia."

"In China, Blackmores has invested in an 'omni-channel' strategy, utilising multiple sales channels to connect the brand with consumers, enabling us to leverage opportunities and evolving regulations," said Christine Holgate. "This included a greater retail presence that will underpin our future growth in this market. We estimate that Chinese consumers influence over $250 million of our Group sales through a combination of export sales, in-country sales and sales through Australian retailers."

"The Asia earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) result includes Blackmores' investment to launch in Indonesia next month," said Christine Holgate. "Indonesia is an exciting opportunity with a fast growing middle class and an increasing number of consumers taking a greater interest in health.

It will take time to establish our brand and business in Indonesia and it is another important milestone in our Asia growth strategy."

BIOCEUTICALS

BioCeuticals, Blackmores' practitioner-only range, delivered a strong result with $69 million in sales (up 25%). New product innovation and education were central to its success as the Australian market-leading brand for healthcare professional dispensing. They have also commenced distribution in the United States, a market with a strong network of allied health practitioners.

"Since acquiring BioCeuticals in 2012, we have doubled its profitability," said Christine Holgate. "BioCeuticals' growth was particularly pleasing given that this year's results include the payment of incentives and profit share to BioCeuticals employees following their adoption of the Blackmores Enterprise Agreement as well as the investment in new offices to support growth."

DEVELOPING BUSINESSES

Developing businesses - including New Zealand; Blackmores' contribution from the nutritional foods partnership with Bega; and sales from the recently acquired Global Therapeutics - contributed $23 million to Group revenue (up 50%).

Sales in New Zealand of $16 million (up 53%) were positively impacted by a change to our business model in this country including the appointment of a Blackmores sales team.

Blackmores' partnership venture to develop nutritional foods including infant formula with Bega has achieved early sales of $9 million of which Blackmores has a 50% share.

In May 2016, Blackmores acquired Global Therapeutics, an Australian company, with two brands offering Chinese herbal medicine, Fusion Health and Oriental Botanicals. Each are market leaders in this category in health food stores and pharmacy with an estimated 80% market share of retail Chinese herbal medicine. We are excited about the growth opportunities for these products both in Australia and in Asia. Global Therapeutics contributed $3 million to our revenues since the acquisition.

DIVIDEND

The Board has declared a final dividend of 210 cents per share (fully franked), taking total dividends for the year to 410 cents (up 102% compared to last year). The dividend is payable on 21 September.

"We are pleased in a year of exceptional growth to be able to reward our shareholders with a record dividend payout which is a fitting way to thank them for their support," said Christine Holgate.

OUTLOOK

"We are pleased with our progress in the last year in delivering our strategic priorities and leveraging the strong social and demographic trends underpinning the growing consumer interest in natural health products, and demonstrating the proven demand for our brand."

"We are encouraged by strong consumer demand across our business and growing market share affirming our leadership in Australia and the strong momentum from Blackmores Asia and BioCeuticals."

"The Australian wholesale market is volatile and has softened in recent weeks impacted by retailers destocking and some exporters changing the channels through which they acquire products. As a result, at this stage we expect our first quarter result to be down compared to the prior corresponding period. We expect sales will improve as the year progresses and will continue to develop our business model, building new growth channels, adapting our cost base and accelerating our transition to support the changing retail landscape to ensure our continued optimism for long-term growth."

To view the full Annual Report, please visit:
http://www.abnnewswire.net/lnk/3LYCA5XW

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

]]>
newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Annual Report 2016 to Shareholders ]]> en84577 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/84577/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:41:40 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) (OTCMKTS:BLMMF) is the leading natural healthcare company across the Asia Pacific region.

Blackmores' operations include product innovation and formulation, sourcing of the highest quality ingredients, quality programs to ensure compliance with standards of good manufacturing practice and the marketing, sales and distribution of products to customers and consumers.

Our operations are structured to service and deliver to multiple channels including pharmacy, mass merchandisers, grocery, health food stores, practitioners and online. Our Animal Health range is also sold to vets and wholesalers.

Activities across the Group for the 2016 financial year were aligned to four key strategic priorities:

- Consumer Centricity - To promote our high quality products, supported by evidence and access to trusted advice, the Group significantly increased brand investment and our understanding of the consumer in our core markets in Australia and in Asia.

- Asia Growth - Asia brings access to two billion health conscious consumers, this is an opportunity for Blackmores to grow, increase scale, diversify our earnings and build a natural hedge into our business. Blackmores' Asian-based regional structure is fully operational to enable more efficient decision making and improved operational efficiencies.

- Product Leadership - Blackmores is a clear leader in the area of research and development and we have supported this with increased investment in the Blackmores Institute, a program of product range innovations and the development of independently accredited education programs.

- Operational Effectiveness - Improved operational efficiencies were derived from investment in and with our supply chain partners, leveraging our Central Services business model and optimising our increased size into scale benefits.

Group and Divisional Results

Group Sales for the year were $717.2 million (2015: $471.6 million), an increase of 52% compared with the prior year and our 14th consecutive year of sales growth.

Sales in Australia, our heartland market, were up 56% compared to the prior year and were stimulated by a growing consumer demand for high quality, natural wellness products. We have launched new products and improved our service of retail customers while investing in our brand through integrated marketing activity. The Australian business continued to benefit from increased sales through Chinese tourists and entrepreneurs shopping in Australia and Chinese Australian consumers purchasing for relatives and friends and shipping to China.

Excluding the impact of these sales, the Australian consumer business remains very healthy with sales up approximately 10%.

By combining the contribution from these consumers with our in-country revenues from Asia, the Asian consumer accounts for almost 50% of Group sales. This demonstrates the growing demand for our brand outside Australia and highlights the importance of our Asia growth strategy.

Increased sales to China have been supported by the Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) established in recent years.

The opening of free trade zones in 2014 and further expansion across the current year has created a substantial opportunity for the company, especially as Blackmores is one of only a few companies in this category to secure a licence to directly trade within the zones.

We are encouraged by the Australian Government's commitment to improved trade relations within the Asian region, which we believe will continue to support further growth. Asia is a key region for Blackmores, providing an important platform to secure long-term profitable growth.

Blackmores Asia achieved record sales, with full year sales up 54% to $129.4 million and EBIT up 79% to $14.9 million. In-country sales from Asia now comprise 18% of Group revenue.

Blackmores Korea experienced sales challenge. This, coupled with the investment in Blackmores' upcoming launch into Indonesia, resulted in a reduction in earnings for the 'Other Asia' segment compared to the prior year.

Our growing revenue from Asia has helped create a natural hedge whereby the impact of changes to off-shore revenues as a result of foreign exchange fluctuations are partially offset by the procurement benefits to the Group. Our growing businesses in Asia have afforded the Group many scale benefits which have improved our operating efficiencies. We have grown our workforce considerably to support the growth, creating new jobs in Australia and Asia. Overall this has bolstered the returns we have delivered to our shareholders.

BioCeuticals sales grew 25%, with strong growth in the practitioner-only range. This performance, combined with successful new product launches and a close management of the cost base, delivered EBIT growth of 9% on the prior year. This EBIT result includes the payment of incentives and profit share to BioCeuticals employees following their adoption of the Blackmores Enterprise Agreement. Excluding this, underlying BioCeuticals EBIT is up 28%. BioCeuticals represents approximately 10% of Group revenue.

Blackmores New Zealand, Global Therapeutics and Blackmores' proportion of our Nutritional Foods partnership with Bega are reported as part of the 'Other' segment. These businesses have contributed $23 million in sales, up from $15 million the prior year.

Group Financial Position

Total current assets increased by $107 million to $295 million, 57% up on the prior year. This reflects an increase in working capital commensurate with growth in the business with inventory increasing by $78 million to $116 million largely due to higher inventory levels to meet consumer demand.

Current liabilities have increased from $115 million to $192 million reflecting both the increased inventory purchases, higher employee incentives and increased income tax obligations.

Non-current liabilities have increased from $45 million to $61 million largely due to an increase in interest-bearing liabilities. Net debt remains low at $18 million but has increased marginally from the $7 million reported in the prior year. This increase includes $23 million of debt funding required to acquire Global Therapeutics.

The business has continued to generate strong net operating cash flows at $83.7 million, 18% growth over the prior period.

This was due to a strong trading performance, improved treasury capability offset by direct purchasing of raw materials to secure quality ingredients.

The cash conversion ratio of 81% reflected a continued focus on operational effectiveness initiatives whilst the company built inventory levels, invested in packaging robotics and acquired Global Therapeutics.

The Group gearing ratio at 9.1% remained low (2015: 5.1%) and net interest cover at 80.2 times (2015: 21.1 times) provides significant cover within our existing banking covenants even after the acquisition of Global Therapeutics.

Equity increased from $133 million to $181 million, a $48 million increase due to growth in Group NPAT, reserves, retained earnings and our interest in PT Kalbe Blackmores Nutrition, our Indonesian joint venture.

Group NPAT was $100.0 million (2015: $46.6 million) a 115% increase on the prior year and similarly Basic earnings per share (EPS) increased from 270.7 cents per share to 580.6 cents per share, an increase of 114.5%.

Our focus on delivery of shareholder returns has resulted in industry leading return on assets at 39.9% and return on equity of 56.1% and highlights a continued trajectory of year on year improvement.

Group Operational Review

In the prior year, Blackmores was constrained by an inability to maintain stock to meet the rapidly growing demand for our products from consumers in Asia. A number of initiatives, from investing in the company's capacity programs through to putting in additional partnership arrangements with suppliers and customers, have been executed in the year.

We are also holding inventory of scarce raw materials to give us access in a growing market to mitigate against the vulnerability of having core product lines out of stock.

Total expenses for the year were $454 million representing a 43% increase over the prior year. Total sales growth of 52% was the primary contributor with sales-related expenses of raw materials and freight up 46% to $225 million. The remaining expenses increased by $66 million to $229 million included employee performance related incentives which were $16 million greater than the prior year.

Operational Highlights

Unprecedented consumer demand for products has continued.

To protect our unrivalled quality standards and build capacity, the Group has:

- Increased staff and shifts at the Blackmores Campus packaging facility.

- Audited and secured more quality approved suppliers.

- Completed extensive quality audits of new suppliers.

- Doubled warehouse footprint including new leased facilities at Eastern Creek in Western Sydney.

- Invested in new plant equipment including quadruple head counters, increasing packing speed from 4,000 tablets per minute to 13,000 tablets per minute.

- Installed four new robotic packing cell.

Resulting in Record Outputs

In the past 12 months, the Group produced 486 million tablets and capsules and shipped 43 million units which we delivered to more than 25,000 retail partners.

To view the full Annual Report, please visit:
http://abnnewswire.net/lnk/XP74VQ91

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Fairmont Equities Stock Tips August 15 - MTR REA BKL ANZ ]]> en84463 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/84463/ Mon, 15 Aug 2016 13:12:19 GMT Michael Gable Managing Director and founder of Fairmont Equities brings the latest stock tips for August 15, 2016. Featured stocks include Mantra Group, REA Group, Blackmores Limited and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group.

Mantra Group Ltd (ASX:MTR)

- Finding good support here and buy signals now getting triggered.

- Consensus target at $4.

- The company will report this Friday.

REA Group Limited (ASX:REA)

- Full year results see the stock tumble as expected.

- Expect sideways action for at least a few months.

Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL)

- Buy signal now received on the MACD.

- Short term resistance now breached. Expect the stock to move higher from here.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX:ANZ)

- After underperforming earlier this year, ANZ now showing the most promise.

- Key resistance now breached. Expect ANZ to see further buying from here.

To view the video, please visit:
http://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/84463/Fairmont

Michael Gable is an Authorised Representative (No. 376892) and Fairmont Equities Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 444397) of Novus Capital Limited (AFS Licence No. 238168).

The information contained in this presentation is general information only and is copy write to Fairmont Equities. Fairmont Equities reserves all intellectual property rights. This presentation should not be interpreted as one that provides personal financial or investment advice. Any examples presented are for illustration purposes only. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

No person, persons or organisation should invest monies or take action on the reliance of the material contained in this presentation, but instead should satisfy themselves independently (whether by expert advice or others) of the appropriateness of any such action. Fairmont Equities, it directors and/or officers accept no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information contained in the presentation.

- Charts courtesy of AmiBroker unless stated otherwise.

Fairmont Equities
Phone: +612-9375-0138
Email: mail@fairmontequities.com
Twitter: @FairmontEquAU
www.fairmontequities.com

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Fairmont Equities Stock Tips July 18 - MND WSA AHG BKL ]]> en84195 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/84195/ Mon, 18 July 2016 14:45:51 GMT Michael Gable Managing Director and founder of Fairmont Equities brings the latest stock tips for July 18, 2016. Featured stocks include Monadelphous Group, Western Areas, Automotive Holdings Group and Blackmores.

Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND)

- Higher risk trade. The sector is risky and the stock is expensive
- Breaking through an ascending triangle

Western Areas (ASX:WSA)

- Higher risk trade. Stock appears expensive
- Rallying on the back of increasing Nickel prices
- Big volume as it breaks a 2 year downtrend

Automotive Holdings Group Limited (ASX:AHG)

- Confirming the breakout on good volume
- Up 11% from a week ago
- Traders to consider short term profit taking

Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL)

- Consensus broker targets at $189
- Bullish price action last week
- Watch the MACD crossing on the weekly chart

To view the video, please visit:
http://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/84195/Fairmont


Michael Gable is an Authorised Representative (No. 376892) and Fairmont Equities Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 444397) of Novus Capital Limited (AFS Licence No. 238168).

The information contained in this presentation is general information only and is copy write to Fairmont Equities. Fairmont Equities reserves all intellectual property rights. This presentation should not be interpreted as one that provides personal financial or investment advice. Any examples presented are for illustration purposes only. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

No person, persons or organisation should invest monies or take action on the reliance of the material contained in this presentation, but instead should satisfy themselves independently (whether by expert advice or others) of the appropriateness of any such action. Fairmont Equities, it directors and/or officers accept no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information contained in the presentation.

- Charts courtesy of AmiBroker unless stated otherwise.

Michael Gable
www.fairmontequities.com.au

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Shareholder Briefing ]]> en83525 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/83525/ Fri, 6 May 2016 10:18:55 GMT Blackmores Limited (ASX:BKL) Shareholder Briefing including Blackmores' Asia Market Strategy.

CHINA IN BLACKMORES ASIA STRATEGY

- China has emerged as Blackmores' single most important overseas market

- We are well established to capture significantly more growth and have first mover advantage in a number of key areas

- We need to invest to build and cement our brand position in the market

- Regulatory change is a reality of the China business landscape. We are well prepared to evolve with the constant regulatory change

- The cross-border e-commerce market is undergoing constant rapid evolution and we have a unique understanding of new opportunities in the China ecommerce space

- We are further building our structure, staff capabilities, operations, supply chain and governance to support a strong sustainable presence for Blackmores in China

To view the full Shareholder briefing, please visit:
http://abnnewswire.net/lnk/N7P8HEGQ

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net
<![CDATA[ FINANCE VIDEO: Blackmores Ltd (ASX:BKL) CEO Christine Holgate and Paul Keogh Share Insights into the New Acquisition ]]> en83519 Y https://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/83519/ Fri, 6 May 2016 08:18:43 GMT Following a strong year to date performance delivering sales and profit growth from all areas of the business, Blackmores Ltd (ASX:BKL) has announced their acquisition of Global Therapeutics, Australia's leading Chinese herbal medicine company.

Blackmores CEO, Christine Holgate and Global Therapeutics Founder, Paul Keogh, talk about the strong strategic and cultural alignment between these two Australian businesses.

Today Blackmores announced the acquisition of Global Therapeutics Pty Ltd (Global Therapeutics), Australia's leading provider of retail Chinese herbal medicine formulations through the brands Fusion(R) and Oriental Botanicals(R).

Blackmores will acquire 100% of Global Therapeutics for A$23 million subject to customary adjustments. The acquisition will be debt-funded and is expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year under Blackmores ownership.

In the last 12 months Global Therapeutics delivered $20 million in invoiced sales and $3.0 million earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Global Therapeutics was established in Byron Bay in 1999 as Fusion(R) Health by naturopath and medical herbalist Paul Keogh and natural health industry veteran Geoff Teasel. The product range is based on the combination of incorporating herbal extracts used in China for more than 2,000 years with those validated by modern science. The Fusion(R) range has a leading position in health food stores, while its sister range, Oriental Botanicals(R), is the leading brand in this category in pharmacy.

The acquisition of the two highly respected brand names, full product portfolio and more than 40 staff will further cement Blackmores' position as the number one provider of natural health products in Australia while also giving the company a leadership position in the health food store channel.

"The acquisition of Global Therapeutics affirms Blackmores' position as the leading natural health company in Australia and gives us a foothold in the rapidly growing Chinese herbal medicine market," said Blackmores Chief Executive Officer, Christine Holgate. "The Blackmores Group now has leading brands in pharmacy, health food stores and the practitioner market."

"Through its leading brands Fusion(R) and Oriental Botanicals(R) Global Therapeutics has established an enviable position in the health food store and pharmacy channels highlighting the growing acceptance of Chinese herbal medical treatments in Australia," she said. "They have a strong reputation for innovation and a growing product range."

"In the future, Global Therapeutics will also provide us a new product portfolio to sell through our existing distribution networks in Asia while also deepening our understanding of Chinese herbal medicine," she said. "It will bring us closer to our Chinese consumers in Australia which will underpin our growth success internationally, and it will give us further scale to boost our operational effectiveness."

With over 4,700 registered traditional Chinese medicine practitioners in Australia, as well as the growing use of Chinese herbs in self-selection channels, Blackmores sees considerable opportunity in this $170 billion global market.

"The acquisition furthers our strategy of product leadership and channel diversity within the category we operate," she said.

To view the video interview, please visit:
http://www.abnnewswire.net/press/en/83519/blackmores

MEDIA CONTACT:
Sally Townsend
Head of Communications
M: +61-419-225-781

INVESTOR CONTACT:
Christine Holgate
Chief Executive Officer
T: +61-2-9910-5186

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newsroom@abnnewswire.net