Australia's Blackmores posts weaker annual profit, sees tougher China conditions

Australia's Blackmores Ltd on Thursday reported a weaker-than-expected annual profit and flagged tougher trading conditions in China in the first half of fiscal 2020.

Adds China sales, background on e-commerce

Aug 15 (Reuters) - Australia's Blackmores Ltd BKL.AX on Thursday reported a weaker-than-expected annual profit and flagged tougher trading conditions in China in the first half of fiscal 2020.

The vitamin maker has been battling with tougher e-commerce laws in its largest offshore market, China, which began a crackdown on foreign shipments amid concerns about its domestic market being overrun with foreign-made goods.

The crackdown included forcing Chinese distributors who order foreign goods online to register and pay tax.

Blackmores' overall sales to China, which includes direct exports and in-country sales, fell 15% in the year.

Restructuring costs and the acquisition of a manufacturing facility in Braeside are also expected to weigh on the company's first-half results in fiscal 2020, Blackmores said.

Net profit attributable fell to A$53.5 million ($36.12 million) in the year ended June 30 from A$70 million a year earlier. An average of nine analysts expected a profit of A$59.9 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The 87-year-old firm declared a final dividend of 70 Australian cents per share, down from 155 cents last year.

($1 = 1.4813 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan and Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Maju Samuel)

((Niyati.N.Shetty@thomsonreuters.com; +918067497199; Reuters Messaging: niyati.n.shetty.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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