14 November 1997

Dalgety feed restructure

DALGETY has announced the first stage of restructuring its animal feed business as it seeks to counter this years diminished sales and profits.

It is dividing its feed operations into two main businesses, one dealing exclusively with cattle and sheep, and the other with pigs and poultry.

As part of the overhaul, Dalgety will be losing about 70 staff and will decentralise many head office functions to its five new regions.

A shake-up has been inevitable since the company announced a 35% profit slump in September. It is thought to be well advanced with plans to sell off its food ingredients and distribution business in the US. And last month it completed the sale of its 65,000t animal feed business in Turriff, Scotland to North Eastern Farmers.

There will be no mill closures as a result of the latest restructuring, says executive director, Paul Kirk. And the company will maintain a strong presence in Scotland through its feed mill at Dumfries.

Despite the problems still affecting cattle feed (which lost 27% of sales in the year to June 30), Mr Kirk reported an improvement in market share in recent weeks due to aggressive pricing.

And he denied recent rumours that Dalgety has been involved in discussions with Associated British Foods with a view to selling the animal feed business. &#42