January 16, 2018 / 9:56 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-New Zealand's a2 Milk expands U.S. business to north east

(Adds details on expansion, share movement)

Jan 16 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s a2 Milk Company Ltd said on Tuesday that it was expanding its operations in the United States to include the country’s north-east region.

The dairy company said in a statement that it aims to expand to states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and that the a2 Milk brand has been accepted by retailers in the region including Safeway, H-Mart and Fairway Foods.

Following the expansion, a2 Milk’s products would be available in potentially 5,000 retail stores across the U.S. from January, up from about 3,600, the company added.

The expansion will be funded by the higher sequential marketing investment mentioned at the annual meeting in November 2017 for the second half of the fiscal year 2018, it said.

Shares in the dairy firm ended Tuesday 3.8 percent higher at NZ$8, while New Zealand’s main index added 0.5 percent.

In 2017, the company’s shares gained more than 275 percent and were among the country’s top gainers. (Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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