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Dairy Crest lifts full year profit

Cathedral City cheese maker Dairy Crest revealed improved full year adjusted pre-tax profit and said trading in the current year is in line with expectations.

Cathedral City cheese maker Dairy Crest revealed improved full year adjusted pre-tax profit and said trading in the current year is in line with expectations.

Adjusted pre-tax profit rose 7% to £50.6m for year ended March 31st 2013 while revenue slipped to £1.382bn from £1.515bn previously.

The group posted a pre-tax profit of £54.5m during the period from a loss of £17.1m before. Adjusted basic earnings per share rose 35 to 29.9p.

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Chief Executive Mark Allen said: "This has been an important year in the history of Dairy Crest. The sale of our French spreads business and subsequent restructuring of our balance sheet has strengthened our financial position and leaves us well placed to invest for growth in the UK, either internally or through acquisitions."

"In line with our long term strategy we have continued to manage proactively the business and remain focused on driving efficiencies. Taken together, our four key brands have increased their market share in the face of falling UK consumption. We have also started to restore profits in our Dairies business."

Allen said the group is a more streamlined business with its three main product categories showing encouraging medium-term profit growth prospects.

"Whilst we expect the consumer environment to remain subdued, we have strong foundations in place and trading in the current financial year has started in line with our expectations."

Year-end net debt reduced to £60m from £336m the year before. The group has proposed final dividend of 15.0p, up from 14.7p before.

CJ

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