Dairy Farmers of Britain showed a small improvement in operating profit and turnover last year, according to its latest financial results.

The figures cover the milk co-op’s first full financial year since buying Associated Co-operative Creameries in August 2004.

Turnover for the year ending 31 March 2006 rose from 594m to 609m. Total group operating profit grew almost 4m to 25.4m while pre-tax profits were up 1% to 16.86m.

A spokesman said the profits included the 1p/litre capital contribution paid by members on the 1.8bn litres of milk supplied by them to DFB.

“We are not aiming for our balance sheet to show a massive profit sitting in our bank account. We pay back as much as we can to our members each month.”

About 53% of the milk produced by DFB’s membership is now processed by the co-op but the full value of its recently launched Dairy Farmers of Britain and Farmers’ Best brands and new add-value products like Wotz in it 4 Me flavoured milk had yet to have a major impact on turnover.

However, their contribution meant DFB had not had to cut its milk price by as much as other milk buyers, said the spokesman.
“It has been a year of consolidating an improving efficiencies. We have introduced brands but they are not selling in huge quantities.

“We’ll be spending a lot more on advertising this year and have got dozens and dozens of new ideas.”

Chairman Robert Knight, who, according to the company results, was paid a total of 508,000 during the year said: “We have invested significantly in the past year to create a first class commercial proposition. We expect our branded sales to make good progress.”