May 26, 2014


Dairy Crest to invest US$75.80 million in infant formula production




Dairy Crest is on track with its £45-million (US$75.80-million) investment in a process which removes minerals from whey powder for the production and sales of baby formula to growth markets such as China.


The company will create a joint venture to turn whey powder, from its cheese manufacturing creamery in Davidstow, UK, into baby formula. Demineralised whey powder is used by food companies in baby milk products.


Mark Allen, the company's chief executive, said that this will boost annual profits by £5 million (US$89.42 million) from the financial year beginning April 2015.


Dairy Crest, which reported pre-tax profit of £65.3 million (US$110.00 million), saw a 31% rise in full-year pre-tax profit, albeit missing analyst forecasts. However, its cheese business beat expectations with earnings up 19% to £39.3 million (US$66.20 million).


Said Allen, "The trading environment is challenging but we have taken costs out of the business, we paid farmers more than last year and the financial position is stronger with net debt down."