Dairy Farmers of Britain lost £6.2m after tax last year, according to the milk co-op’s latest financial results.

Operating profits for the year ended 31 March, 2007, excluding any members’ retentions, dropped from £7.3m to £1.7m, while turnover fell £51m to £609m.

Chief executive Andrew Cooksey said the co-op was in a period of transition from a milk broker to an integrated milk-processing business and the figures were not unexpected.

‘Intense competitice pressure’

Mr Cooksey said the losses after tax included £1.7m of exceptional costs relating to the closure of its Cardiff dairy and £4.2m of amortised goodwill.

“Against a back drop of intense competitive pressure we made rationalisation and investment decisions to create foundations for stronger growth.

“We have dramatically improved our commercial position by further developing our brands and our relationships with multiple retailers,” he said.

‘Significant rises’

“The market also continues to strengthen in our members’ favour and we are confident we will see significant [milk] price rises for them over the coming months.”

A number of new projects, including Tesco Localchoice milk and a distribution deal for popular European juice brand Granini, should help profits this year, added Mr Cooksey.