Sold Performance By Milk Link

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Sold Performance By Milk Link

Sold Performance By Milk Link
June 28
11:37 2010

Milk Link has increased profit before tax to £10.6m for the year ended April 3rd last from £0.5m in 2009, when the British dairy co-operative incurred exceptional charges of £9.6m. EBITDA rose by 1.7% to £28.7m and turnover edged up 0.5% to £550m. The profit attributable to co-op members was £10.1m.

The amount of milk handled by Milk Link during the year increased by 13% to over 1.4b litres as the co-operative was successful in recruiting about 600 additional new members and ‘direct supply’ farmers

Despite the acquisition of the Llandyrnog Creamery in North Wales for £25.6m during the year, net bank debt at £80.9m was only £4.8m higher than the prior year. The acquisition reinforced Milk Link’s position as the largest producer of British cheeses.

During the year, Milk Link undertook a strategic refocusing of its long life milk and cream and flavoured milks business. This entailed the closure of its Kirkcudbright facility and consolidation of all milk production into its Crediton Dairy, which benefited from a major capital investment programme to create the most advanced production facility of its type in the UK.

Neil Kennedy, chief executive of Milk Link.

“Despite extremely difficult trading conditions, particularly in relation to the cheese market, where the impact of imports of cheap cheese combined with deep and sustained discounting by the major Cheddar brands served to erode value from the market, the group’s financial performance was strong,” comments Neil Kennedy, chief executive of Milk Link.

“Looking forward, over the next twelve months the trading and economic environment will continue to be extremely challenging, whilst global dairy commodity markets will remain highly volatile. At the same time, although there are some welcome signs that farmer confidence is improving across the dairy industry, we must ensure that this is developed and sustained. This will be vital if we are to give farmers the confidence to make the necessary levels of investment in their dairy enterprises and to encourage the next generation of dairy farmers who will be the lifeblood of the industry.”

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