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Dairy Crest announces final results for year ended 31 March 2014

22/05/2014

Dairy Crest Final results for year ended 31 March 2014

- 2013/14 2012/13 3 Change
Revenue 1 £1,391m £1,382m +1%
Adjusted profit before tax 1,2 £65.3m £49.7m +31%
Profit / (loss) for the year 1 £48.8m £(7.9)m -
Adjusted basic earnings per share 1,2 40.8p 29.4p +39%
Basic earnings / (loss) per share 1 35.8p (5.9)p -
Year-end net debt £142m £60m +137%
Full year dividend 21.3p 20.7p +3%

1 From continuing operations
2 Before exceptional items, amortisation of acquired intangibles and pension interest
3 2012/13 comparatives have been restated to reflect amendments to IAS 19R: Employee Benefits. See Note 14 to the accounts

Financial Highlights

  • Adjusted profit before tax up 31% to £65.3 million, including higher profits from sale of surplus properties
  • Year end net debt at £142 million leaves net debt to EBITDA within targeted range at 1.3 x
  • Proposed final dividend payment of 15.4p taking full year to 21.3p, up 3%

Strategic Highlights

  • Reorganised into one business structure
  • Demineralised whey project on track to enhance annual profits by £5 million from 2015/16 – in exclusive talks with one customer
  • Move to a single spreads manufacturing facility nearing completion
  • Reduced cash contribution to defined benefit pension scheme from 2014/15

Operating Highlights

  • Ongoing growth for Cathedral City ahead of market
  • Continued focus on costs: £25 million annualised cost savings delivered in 2013/14, with a further £20 million identified for 2014/15
  • Strong Corporate Responsibility commitment: highest UK ranked business by BITC

Commenting on the results, Mark Allen, Chief Executive, Dairy Crest Group plc said:

"The year ended 31 March 2014 was one of consolidation for Dairy Crest. Following the transformational sale of our French spreads business last year we have completed our reorganisation into one business structure. This has helped in our constant drive to reduce costs. Our largest brand, Cathedral City continues to grow strongly.

The current trading environment is challenging. However, the strength of our key brands and our proven ability to cut costs and drive efficiencies mean that we remain confident that we can generate profit growth in all three of our product groups over the medium term. Additional profit growth will come from our project to add value to the whey stream at Davidstow, which is on track.

Our net debt is comfortably within our targeted range and we expect to be able to reduce it further in the future as capital expenditure on our existing business falls back towards depreciation and we continue to sell surplus properties. Debt reduction will also be supported by the agreement we are announcing today to reduce our annual contributions to the Dairy Crest Group Pension Fund from £20 million to £13 million for the next two years.

Taking account of today’s challenging environment, we anticipate that trading in the current financial year will be in line with our expectations.”

For further information:

Dairy Crest
Arthur Reeves
01372 472236

Brunswick
Tim Danaher
020 7404 5959