;

Dairy Crest announces final year results for year ended 31 March 2015

21/05/2015

  

2014/15

2013/14

Change

Revenue 1

£1,330m

£1,391m

-4%

Product group profit – Cheese & Spreads1,2

£66.9m

£56.1m

+19%

Product group profit – Dairies1,2

£1.8m

£18.8m

-90%

Adjusted profit before tax 1,3

£60.6m

£65.3m

-7%

Profit before tax 1

£22.1m

£54.2m

-59%

Adjusted basic earnings per share 1,3

38.0p

40.8p

-7%

Basic earnings per share 1

15.0p

35.8p

-58%

Cash generated from / (used in) operations

£35.3m

£(13.8)m

+£49.1m

Year-end net debt

£198.7m

£142.2m

+40%

Full year dividend

21.7p

21.3p

+2%

1 From continuing operations

2 Profit on operations before exceptional items and amortisation of acquired intangibles

3 Before exceptional items, amortisation of acquired intangibles and pension interest

Highlights

  • Total Product group profits of retained Cheese and Spreads businesses up 19% year on year
  • Sale of Dairies operations approved by shareholders; regulatory approval in progress
  • Cathedral City brand continues to grow strongly – now Britain’s 16th largest grocery brand, accounting for over 50% of total branded retail cheddar sales
  • On track to start production of demineralised whey powder and galacto-oligosacharide this year for growing global markets
  • Strong Corporate Responsibility commitment maintained – top ranked UK business by BITC for second consecutive year
  • Proposed final dividend payment of 15.7p taking full year to 21.7p, up 2%

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

“This has been another year of significant progress for Dairy Crest.  We have grown combined Cheese and Spreads sales despite the deflationary market environment.  We have also delivered an encouraging improvement in the combined margin of these businesses.  Cathedral City has again outperformed and accounts for over 50% of retail sales of branded cheddar.  Our focus on product development has underpinned these results and our investment in a new innovation centre will support this.  We have again met our target to deliver annual cost savings of over £20 million.  These include consolidating our butter and spreads production onto one site.

We have agreed to sell our Dairies operations.  The conditional sale is a positive development for Dairy Crest and the wider UK dairy sector.  Shareholders have approved the sale and the process to obtain regulatory approval is on track.  Completion of the sale will result in Dairy Crest operating from five well-invested manufacturing sites.  It will be a much simpler, more focused, predominantly branded business.  It will also have exposure to the growing infant formula category and emerging markets.

Looking ahead, Dairy Crest is well positioned for sustainable, profitable growth.  Over the coming year as a whole we expect results to benefit from the continued growth of Cathedral City, ongoing cost savings and the completion of our project at Davidstow where we will add value to our whey stream by producing ingredients for infant formula.  This growth will be second half weighted.

We expect that our net debt, which at the year end remains within our target range, will fall once we have completed our major investment projects.  The receipt of the proceeds from the sale of our Dairies operations will accelerate this reduction.”

For further information:

Dairy Crest
Arthur Reeves
01372 472236

Brunswick
Max McGahan
020 7404 5959

A video interview with Mark Allen and Tom Atherton will be available from 07:00 (UK time) from the investor section of the Group’s website investor.dairycrest.co.uk

There will be an analyst and investor meeting at 10:30 (UK time) today at The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3ED. 

An audiocast of the presentation will be available from the investor section of the Group’s website www.dairycrest.co.uk/investors later today.