Three of Britain's biggest milk buyers have released interim results for the first six months of the 2009/10 financial period.
Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman and Milk Link have produced an improved set of results compared with the same period in the previous year.
Despite a small fall (0.6%) in revenue, Dairy Crest increased its operating profit by 21.2% to £44.0m. The results highlight the performance of five key brands; sales of its Country Life and Clover butters were up by 4.0% and 13.0% respectively. Cathedral City also continued to yield strong results, with sales up by 8.0% in the first six months of the financial period. Dairy Crest's own flavoured milk Frijj also saw a 21.0% increase in sales. According to Dairy Crest, sales of Frijj now account for more than 50.0% of the flavoured milk market. Basic earnings per share (EPS) for the period were nearly four times higher than the same period in the previous year, at 18.6p.
Robert Wiseman Dairies reported an 11.3% increase in sales, to 851.3m litres for the six months to 03 October 2009; this was predominately due to a new contract with the Co-op group, after it acquired the supermarket chain Somerfield. The increase in sales has led to a 7.0% increase in revenue to £423.9m. Net profit for the period stood at £14.9m in the first six months, compared with a loss of £9.9m for the same period in the previous year; although it should be considered that there was a non-recurring charge of £17.9m in the 2008 period due to the loss of Industrial Buildings Allowances being added back.
According to the Milk Link interim results, the co-op states that it has performed satisfactorily in the first six months of the financial year, and should yield a full year profit in line with last year. It reported that despite a 2.5% (£7.0m) fall in revenue, to £271.0m, profit before tax had increased by three and a half times, to £4.9m. It also reported a Processing Interest Payment of £4.1m paid to its members in June, representing a 10.8% return on investment in the business.
Further analysis of the results will be published in the Datum Update on the 26 November 2009.