Dairy Crest milks profits from French sale

Suzie Neuwirth

DAIRY Crest Group today announced a seven per cent increase in pre-tax profits and an 82 per cent decrease in net debt, after divesting its French business and restructuring its balance sheet.

The British dairy products company, which owns brands such as Clover and Cathedral City, posted pre-tax profits of £50.6m for the year and net debt of £60m, down from £336m the previous year.

“The sale of our French spreads business and subsequent restructuring of our balance sheet has strengthened our financial position and leaves us well placed to invest for growth in the UK, either internally or through acquisitions,” said chief executive Mark Allen.

“In line with our long term strategy we have continued to manage proactively the business and remain focused on driving efficiencies. Taken together, our four key brands have increased their market share in the face of falling UK consumption. We have also started to restore profits in our Dairies business.”