Express Dairies rules out mergers

11 November 1999

Express Dairies rules out mergers

EXPRESS Dairies has ruled itself out of taking part in further rationalisation of the British milk sector, saying it is committed to bedding down its £100 million Glanbia dairies acquisition.

Neil Davidson, chief executive, said yesterday that Express did not feel under pressure to buy any of its big rivals after the Glanbia deal earlier this year, which gave it a 30% market share.

He explained that Express did not have either the balance sheet strength or the operational capability to undertake further acquisitions.

The group said the deferral of dairy rationalisation plans, higher pension costs and milk price pressure had resulted in a 7.2% fall in operating profit to £28.2m for the six months to 30 September.

An anticipated £21.9m exceptional charge relating to the closure of three Glanbia dairies sent pre-tax profit for the period reeling from £26.6m to just £1.6m.

Mr Davidson said the benefits of the restructuring would begin to flow in the fourth quarter.

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