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First Milk Posts Solid Trading Results

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First Milk Posts Solid Trading Results

First Milk Posts Solid Trading Results
October 13
11:50 2017

First Milk, the UK’s only major dairy company owned by British family farms, has produced a solid trading performance from a transformed business to deliver a net profit of £6.0 million for the year ending 31 March 2017, following a loss of £5.1 million in 2016. Operating profit (before exceptional items) was £11.7 million – up from £6.0 million in the previous year. Group turnover declined to £206.5 million from £294.2 million in 2016.

Shelagh Hancock, chief executive of First Milk.

First Milk has now completed its debt re-financing with a new 4-year facility with Wells Fargo, providing flexibility and lower costs. The dairy co-operative has also signed a new long-term contract for fresh milk supply to Nestlé UK and Ireland, and has been agreed a long-term cheese supply partnership with Tesco and Ornua Foods. It has also sold its loss-making CNP sports nutrition business.

First Milk Chairman, Clive Sharpe, chairman of First Milk, comments: “Over the last two years, First Milk has transformed. We have put in place a new business strategy, divested loss-making subsidiaries, improved our operational performance and implemented an effective co-operative governance structure. The transformation of our business is complete and, as a result, First Milk today is now a more focused and financially secure business. This is demonstrated through these significantly improved financial results and, most importantly, through our ability to increase milk prices to our farmer members ahead of the market during the last financial year.”

Shelagh Hancock, who became chief executive on April 1, 2017, says: “It is clear that, following the transformation process that was completed before I joined, we have a focused and financially stable foundation to build from. So now we must look to the future. Working as one team, we will continue our relentless focus on efficiency and quality. We will put customers at the heart of our business, creating value through strong, long-term partnerships and exploit the advantages we have to grow the business. The combination of these efforts is to deliver competitive total returns to our members.”

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