Japanese consumers’ fondness for cheesecakes, and the rise of pizzas topped with mozzarella in Asia, have helped the diversified Australian dairy and food company Bega lift its first-half profit and revenue.

The company said its milk supply intake jumped 25 per cent in the December half, which helped it lift mozzarella production by 33 per cent and cream cheese production by 19 per cent.

Cream cheese is a sought-after dairy product in Japan, and Bega is a key supplier of bulk cream cheese to this market. Both cream cheese and mozzarella are good earners for Bega.

The growing food company has also benefited from a rise in milk intake as it picked up new farmer suppliers who departed Murray Goulburn and other dairy processors, and as milk production improved thanks to better seasonal conditions last spring.

Bega outlined the higher production volume of cream cheese and mozzarella as it reported its first-half results on Wednesday, revealing that revenue for the half rose 14 per cent to $705.2 million, while after-tax profit climbed 31 per cent to $20.6 million.

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