Dairy Crest delivers "robust performance in a tough market"

23 May 2017

For the year ended 31 March, Dairy Crest has reported adjusted profit before tax up 5% to £60.6m on revenues that decreased 1% to £416.6m. Its Cathedral City cheddar is said to have returned to volume growth in the second half.

Dairy Crest delivers robust performance in a tough market

For the year ended 31 March, Dairy Crest has reported adjusted profit before tax up 5% to £60.6m on revenues that decreased 1% to £416.6m. Its Cathedral City cheddar is said to have returned to volume growth in the second half, while Frylight, Clover and Country Life spreadable all grew volume and increased market share. Demineralised whey production met its targeted levels of infant formula grade. The proportion of sales from recently launched products is now 13%, which the company said is well above target

“In the first full year since the transformational sale of our Dairies business, we have delivered a robust performance in a tough market,” said Mark Allen, Chief Executive, Dairy Crest. “Our industry leading margins are the result of our focus on driving long-term value through brand building, innovation, investment in a world class supply chain and strong cost control.”

“Our key brands are performing well. Cathedral City remains the nation’s favourite cheese and following its brand refresh at the start of the year, the good progress and momentum we have seen in the last six months has continued in the new financial year. Our overall spreads market share has increased, and Frylight had another outstanding year with sales growing 19%. This is well ahead of the market. The ongoing investment that we are putting behind our brands gives me confidence that we can grow market share.”

“We have continued to make good progress in our demineralised whey operations at Davidstow. We are now hitting our targeted level of infant formula grade. Developing our sales of demineralised whey and GOS into the high-margin global infant formula market will be a key priority this year. At the same time we will continue our research into other potential animal and human applications for GOS.”

“Looking forward, I am excited about the future for Dairy Crest. The business is well positioned to deliver profitable, sustainable growth and stronger cash generation. This underpins our commitment to growing our dividends and reducing debt.”