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Dairy Crest Announces Interim Results - November 2012

08/11/2012

Dairy Crest today announces its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 September 2012

Half year ended 30 September

Financial Highlights: 2012 2011 Change
Revenue: 1 £688.2m £739.1m -7%
Profit for the period: £49.3m £29.9m +65%
Adjusted profit before tax: 1,2 £19.1m £22.7m -16%
Basic earnings per share: 37.0p 22.4 p +65%
Adjusted basic earnings per share: 1,2 11.7p 14.6p -20%
Half year net debt: £75.8m £365.3m -79%
Interim dividend: 5.7p 5.7p -

1 amounts exclude the discontinued St Hubert business, sold in August 2012

2 from continuing operations, before exceptional items, amortisation of acquired intangibles and pension interest

Much improved financial position following successful disposal of St Hubert

  • St Hubert sold for €430 million, generating a post-tax profit on sale of £47.7 million
  • Balance sheet transformed. Net debt: EBITDA ratio 0.7x (2011: 2.4x)
  • Well placed to make targeted, value-enhancing acquisitions in the UK

Strong performance from key brands and new products

  • UK Spreads and Cheese sales jointly up 3%
  • Four key brands together recorded double digit volume and value growth
  • New products, Chedds and FRijj the Incredible, now firmly established
  • Further innovation planned for second half
  • Increased A&P investment to maintain momentum - all four brands on television in the period

Accelerated efficiency cost savings

  • Ongoing costs discipline throughout business
  • Annual cost savings ahead of £20 million target

Dairies profits lower in continuing difficult trading environment

  • Sales down 11% in line with strategy to reduce exposure to this sector
  • Milk price support for supplying farmers in challenging times
  • On track with clear plan to restore 3% return on sales in the medium term

Mark Allen, Chief Executive, said:

"Dairy Crest has had a busy first six months as we continued to navigate a challenging trading environment. The decisive actions we have taken during the period leave us well placed as we move forward. The sale of St Hubert has created a more focussed business and a much stronger balance sheet. We now have the ability to make UK acquisitions, but we will take time to ensure that any transaction creates value for our shareholders. Despite the challenging environment we have continued to grow our key brands. We have reduced our cost base and made improvements to our Dairies business. We expect this to benefit future profitability. We remain confident that full year performance will be in line with our expectations."

For further information:

Dairy Crest
Arthur Reeves 01372 472236

Brunswick
Simon Sporborg 020 7404 5959