8 August 1997

Dairy Crest will deliver more pintas in the east

DAIRY Crest has strengthened its grip on the eastern counties liquid milk market, acquiring Anglia Dairies from the Anglia Regional Co-op Society for £4.6m.

Currently Anglia Dairies takes all its milk from Milk Marque and this will continue as it is integrated into Dairy Crest, honouring existing contracts made in the recent selling round.

The purchase will add 50,000 doorstep customers to Dairy Crests existing client base, as well as another 1200 wholesalers and retailers. It will take the total number of Dairy Crest depots in the region from 31 to 38.

Last year Anglia Dairies generated a turnover of £18m and was forecast to make a pre-tax profit of about £700,000 in the current trading year. "We would hope to improve on this," said managing director of Dairy Crests Household and Liquid Products business, Mark Allen.

There were no plans for immediate rationalisation, he added, though there was scope for some streamlining at a later date.

"This acquisition further strengthens Dairy Crests doorstep delivery business," said Mr Allen. The rate of decline in doorstep sales had slowed considerably in East Anglia over the last 18 months as service improved and the customers who remained were now the "core users".

Mark Allen says the rate of decline for doorstep deliveries is slowing.