Recent figures from Arla Amba have shown that for the six months of 2010 the Arla group made a profit of DKK697m (approx £81.2m) compared to DKK263m (approx £31m) for the previous year. In its statement, the company put the improved performance down to a combination of improving global markets and substantial cost savings in the first half of the year.
However, the announcement was tempered by the opinion that conditions in the second half of the year will be tough with Arla expecting lower earnings from commodity markets. Arla only publish financial information for the group so it is not possible to ascertain what the UK arm has achieved.
This announcement shows some positive results for Arla and its suppliers. From a UK perspective, the continued success of brands such as Cravendale and Lurpak plus the launch of cottage cheese production at its plant in Leeds was highlighted in the results.
However, the comment on future earnings from commodity markets is interesting . The autumn months historically coincide with increasing values as milk supplies fall to their seasonal trough - particularly in Europe. Although there have been some easing of commodity prices during the summer with milk production increasing, there are still plenty of outlets for milk with countries such as Russia increasing imports of SMP and cheese.