Dairy Crest has delivered a ‘robust performance in a tough market’ according to chief executive Mark Allen as it announced its results for the year ended March 31 2017.
Key brands have performed well with Frylight, Clover and Country Life spreadable all increasing market share and growing in volume.
Profit before tax increased by 5 per cent to £60.6 million, although its revenue fell by 1 per cent to £416.6m.
Mr Allen said Cathedral City had remained the ‘nation’s favourite cheese’ and had returned to volume growth in the second half of the year. He added this momentum had continued into the new financial year.
“Our overall spreads market share has increased, and Frylight had another outstanding year with sales growing 19 per cent. This is well ahead of the market,” he said.
“The ongoing investment that we are putting behind our brands gives me confidence that we can grow market share.”
Its proportion of sales from recently launched products was ‘well above target’ at 13 per cent.
Its net debt increased by 9 per cent to £249.8m but it said this was expected due to the completion of Davidstow commissioning and its final payment to Muller on the sale of the Dairies business.
Mr Allen added: “Looking forward, I am excited about the future for Dairy Crest.
“The business is well positioned to deliver profitable, sustainable growth and stronger cash generation. This underpins our commitment to growing our dividends and reducing debt.”