Dairy Crest creams profit after a promotions spree

DAIRY CREST has announced strong trading for the nine months to the end of December, buoyed by its performance in the run-up to Christmas.

Pre-tax profit was slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations, but the maker of Cathedral City cheese and Clover spreads remains cautious about the year ahead.

“The trading environment for 2010 is tough for want of a better word. We’ve got an election coming up. There’s lots of speculation around how unemployment’s going to move,” said Dairy Crest chief executive Mark Allen.

Dairy Crest said sales of its five key brands rose 10 per cent over the nine months, supported by high levels of television advertising and promotions.
It added that it had benefited from the recent cold snap with sales of milk jumping 17 per cent above normal levels in the first week of January this year.