Chinese infant formula and milk powder producer Feihe International has reported 14.2% rise in sales to $292.9m for the full year ended 31 December 2011, compared to $256.6m for the full year 2010.

Sales from branded milk products in 2011 grew 20.7% or 74.3% of total sales to $217.5m, compared to $180.2m during the same period previous year.

The company attributed the increase in sales to increased high margin infant formula sales including the company’s AstroBaby series and Feifan series.

Sales during the fourth quarter rose 42.1% to $87m, compared to $61.2m during the same quarter a year ago.

Branded milk products’ sales increased to $60.3m from $39.4m during the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Raw milk powder sales rose to $24.8m from $17.4m during the same period last year.

Gross profit was up $30.9m, compared to $17.8m during the same quarter prior year, while the gross profit for the full year 2011 rose to $112.3m from $99.2m.

Feihe International vice chairman and chief finance officer Liu Hua said the company’s continued growth demonstrates that it is increasing its footprint in the Chinese infant formula industry.

"Our results of $87m for the fourth quarter with $60.3m from branded milk products for 4Q are excellent indications of our continued growth in higher margin branded products," Hua said.

Feihe has appointed Neil Shen as the company’s new independent director, effective 30 March 2012.

Shen was appointed to the company’s board of directors in connection with the subscription agreement dated 11 August 2009.

The board of directors has also appointed Jingjun Mu to its board, who will serve as an independent director.