PARMALAT HAS bounced back from multi-billion pound fraud and corporate restructuring to post a healthy-looking profit in 2004.

The Italian dairy to fruit juice company turned in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of €273m (£188m).

The results for the year to November show 2003’s loss of millions was reversed, even as sales fell to €3.88bn (£2.67bn).

Parmalat sold its UK processing plant, based in Kendal, Cumbria, to United Dairy Farmers of Northern Ireland in February 2004.

It produced £30m worth of yoghurt, cottage cheese and desserts under the Losely and Lakeland Maid brands.

Since its fall in 2003, Parmalat’s board has disbanded and the management team has been removed. The company plans to refloat soon on the Milan stock exchange.

Non-core businesses have been sold off, including travel business Parmatour and Parma football club.

It has also begun to sell off some of its global businesses including those in Thailand, Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

In the future, Parmalat will be based in 12 countries around the world, rather than 30, with its name licensed to other operators.

Though the criminal investigation continues, the company is focusing on rebranding, with plans to cut product lines from 136 to 30 in the next two years.

In April it will launch a worldwide range of low fat, high vitamin milk, fruit juice and yoghurt products called Jeunesse.

Its core product remains milk, which it has continued to process at near typical rates through its 86 factories.