Dairy Crest’s half-year profits to fall as it pays more for milk

Kasmira Jefford
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DAIRY Crest warned of lower half-year profits yesterday as its core milk business continued to face “unprecedented market conditions”.

But the milk supplier left its profit forecasts for 2013 unchanged.

Dairy Crest also became the latest milk supplier to increase the price it pays farmers for their milk following July’s protests.

The company, which buys supplies from 1,000 dairy farmers, said it will hike the price it pays for liquid milk and for making Davidstow cheese by 3p to 29p a litre from 1 November.

The rise more than makes up for price reductions earlier in the year, Dairy Crest said. The firm cut its rate in May but postponed a further reduction in August.

On Friday Tesco also hiked the price it pays farmers for milk by 2p.

Dairy Crest said brands such as Cathedral City cheese, Country Life butter, Clover spread and Frijj milkshakes performed strongly, boosted by increased marketing spend. The group said it is raising milk selling price, closing its Aintree creamery and consolidating milk rounds to reduce costs.