First Milk announce financial results for 2008/09

Published 25 September 09

First Milk has released a statement outlining its financial performance for the 2008/09 period.  During the period, the company have reported a net loss of £7.1m, which includes a non-recurring item of £3.6m, for redundancies and restructuring at its Claygate and Maelor sites.

Falling returns from commodity cheese, whey and powders towards the end of the financial period resulted in a 3% fall in turnover, to £582m.  In common with the majority of milk buyers, the co-op increased the price paid to its members, compared to the previous financial year. However, towards the end of the year with market returns under pressure the co-op made the decision to utilise its reserves to help shield members from facing the full extent of the market downturn in their farmgate price.

The statement also outlined objectives for the coming period, which included development of a new creamery at Campbeltown.  The company also plans to increase the amount of branded cheese it sells from 5%* in 2008/09, to 20% in the coming period.  This will be primarily through its Lake District Company and Pembrokeshire Cheese Company brands.

More detailed analysis of the company accounts will be included in the DairyCo Datum Update on 01 October.

*Based on total cheese produced by the co-op.