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A Year of Consolidation For Dairy Crest

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A Year of Consolidation For Dairy Crest

A Year of Consolidation For Dairy Crest
May 23
15:17 2014

UK dairy group Dairy Crest has reported adjusted profit before tax up 31% to £65.3 million, including higher profits from sale of surplus properties, on revenue up 0.7% to £1.39 billion for the year ended 31 March 2014. The period was one of consolidation for Dairy Crest. Following the transformational sale of its French spreads business, St Hubert, last year Dairy Crest has completed its reorganisation into one business structure.

Dairy Crest is now a simpler, more financially robust business with a strong base for future growth. By continuing to execute its long term strategy of growing its key brands and other added value sales and of reducing costs, Dairy Crest is strengthening its business.

The group’s largest brand, Cathedral City, continues to grow ahead of the cheese market. Dairy Crest’s ongoing focus on costs delivered £25 million of annualised cost savings in 2013/14, with a further £20 million identified for 2014/15. The demineralised whey project at the group’s Davidstow site is on track to enhance annual profits by £5 million from 2015/16.

Mark Allen, chief executive of Dairy Crest, comments: “The current trading environment is challenging. However, the strength of our key brands and our proven ability to cut costs and drive efficiencies mean that we remain confident that we can generate profit growth in all three of our product groups over the medium term. Additional profit growth will come from our project to add value to the whey stream at Davidstow, which is on track.”

He adds: “Our net debt is comfortably within our targeted range and we expect to be able to reduce it further in the future as capital expenditure on our existing business falls back towards depreciation and we continue to sell surplus properties. Debt reduction will also be supported by the agreement to reduce our annual contributions to the Dairy Crest Group Pension Fund from £20 million to £13 million for the next two years.”

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