Cheese and milk producer Dairy Crest said group sales increased by 2% in the first nine months of the year on a like for like basis as it battles against a challenging business environment.
The group, which produces Cathedral City cheese, Clover and Frijj, said it has coped well in difficult trading and overall it is operating in line with company expectations.
The 2% increase in sales excludes the effect of the disposal of its majority stake in Wexford Creamery.
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The group said trading remains difficult at its Dairies business where a combination of high milk purchase prices and lower cream realisations is hitting profitability. Dairy Crest said it continues to focus on cost reduction.
In contrast its foods division traded strongly and its three key Foods brands in the UK, Cathedral City, Country Life, and Clover, performed well over the third quarter, boosted by a strong marketing programme. Its French spreads business St Hubert enjoyed a very strong quarter and increased its market share.
Chief executive Mark Allen commented, "Dairy Crest has coped well in a challenging business environment. Although we remain cautious about the economic environment we continue to manage the business proactively to meet the challenges we face."
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