ARLA FOODS UK has announced its first financial results since it was formed from the merger of milk processors Arla and Express Dairies last October.
 
Interim pre-tax profits for the six months ending Mar 31, which include five months operating as the merged business, were down 18% to £5m on the preceding half year.
 
However, after taking into account almost £12m of exceptional costs associated with the merger, underlying profits more than doubled to £21.1m.
 
Sales increased from £324m to £698m, with strong growth in the firm‘s spreads and value-added milk brands.
 
Lurpak sales grew 10%, while Anchor Spreadable was up 13%. Cravendale, its filtered fresh milk brand, increased by 23%.
 
For more details see the Business section in this week‘s FARMERS WEEKLY.