July 19, 2013


Dairy Crest aims to expand whey powder business




As it seeks to expand its whey powder business, Dairy Crest is looking for prospective commercial partners.


An interim management statement for the three months to June 30, 2013, was issued ahead of its annual general meeting on Tuesday (Jul 16). With first quarter trading in-line with expectations, the company said it was looking to capitalise on the growing demand for whey products.


The statement read: "We have been considering how we can add greater value to the high quality whey stream at our Davidstow creamery. We are now clear that our chosen route is to make demineralised whey powder. This is a base ingredient for baby food - a rapidly growing market with significant potential. We expect this project to generate attractive returns for shareholders. We are currently finalising the necessary investment required to move this forward and are talking to several prospective partners. We expect to provide more details at our September trading update."


Other key points from the management statement included: profitability of its dairies business continued to improve in-line with targets, with the Lidl liquid contract renewal a positive.


Overall sales of Dairy Crest's four key brands were 4% lower than the same quarter in 2012 when they rose 15% on-year. It remains on target to reduce costs by £20 million (US$30 million) this year.