Final Results for Year Ended 31 March 2017

18 May 2017

Highlights

  • Adjusted profit before tax1, 2 up 5% to £60.6m
  • Cathedral City returns to volume growth in the second half – strong momentum in 2017/18
  • Frylight, Clover and Country Life spreadable all grow volume and increase market share
  • Demineralised whey production meets targeted levels of infant formula grade
  • Partnerships with DuPont and others to research galacto-oligosaccharide usage in animal nutrition – trials under way
  • Innovation – proportion of sales from recently launched products now 13%, well above target
  • Net debt increased as expected due to completion of Davidstow commissioning and final payment to Muller on sale of Dairies business
  • Proposed final dividend up 2% to 16.3 pence

Financial Summary

  Year ended 31 March
  2017 2016 Change
Revenue 1 £416.6m £422.3m -1%
Adjusted profit before tax1,2 £60.6m £57.7m 5%
Profit before tax1 £40.3m £45.4m -11%
Adjusted basic earnings per share1,2 35.6p 34.5p +3%
Basic earnings per share1 23.7p 27.9p -15%
Profit/(loss) attributable to equity shareholders £38.3m £(113.0)m n/a
Operating cash flow3 £32.8m £(17.9)m n/a
Net debt £249.8m £229.0m +9%
Final dividend 16.3p 16.0p +2%

1 From continuing operations

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

3 Cash generated from operations, less capital expenditure, before exceptional cash outflows of £25.6m (2016: £17.6m)

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

“In the first full year since the transformational sale of our Dairies business, we have delivered a robust performance in a tough market.

“Our industry leading margins are the result of our focus on driving long-term value through brand building, innovation, investment in a world class supply chain and strong cost control..

“Our key brands are performing well. Cathedral City remains the nation’s favourite cheese and following its brand refresh at the start of the year, the good progress and momentum we have seen in the last six months has continued in the new financial year. Our overall spreads market share has increased, and Frylight had another outstanding year with sales growing 19%. This is well ahead of the market. The ongoing investment that we are putting behind our brands gives me confidence that we can grow market share.

“We have continued to make good progress in our demineralised whey operations at Davidstow. We are now hitting our targeted level of infant formula grade. Developing our sales of demineralised whey and GOS into the high-margin global infant formula market will be a key priority this year. At the same time we will continue our research into other potential animal and human applications for GOS.

“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.”

Read the full statement here.

For further information, please contact:

   
Dairy Crest
Alistair Smith
01372 472236
Dairy Crest
Tom Atherton
01372 472264
Brunswick
Mike Smith
0207 404 5959

A video interview with Mark Allen and Tom Atherton is available from the investor section of the Group’s website www.dairycrest.co.uk/investors. There will be an analyst and investor meeting at 10:00 (UK time) today at The Lincoln Centre, 18 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3ED, following which an audiocast of the presentation will be available from the investor section of the Group’s website www.dairycrest.co.uk/investors.