Express details first results as independent

By FWi staff

EXPRESS Dairies has announced its first results as an independent company.

The figures show increased pre-tax profits from continuing operations of 9.3% to £60.2 million.

For the year ended 31 March, adjusted earnings per share were up 11.6% at 14.4p, with dividends rising 5% o 8.4p per share.

Total liquid milk volumes rose 15%, including acquisitions.

Total doorstep sales were down almost 7% on last year including acquisitions, which the company said was broadly in line with the national trend.

Despite this fall in doorstep deliveries the company retains its confidence in the future prospects of the delivery service.

It is making a £5 million investment in new hand-held computer technology and in the development of a customer call centre.

Lord Christopher Haskins, Express Dairies chairman, said his company is looking forward to publication of the report of the Competition Commission enquiry into the supply of raw milk and hopes it will bring more stable long-term buying arrangements.

“We are sure that our partnership with farmers, which we have consistently pursued since deregulation, will stand us in good stead in any changed milk buying environment,” he said.

But against this rise in profits was a sharp fall which dairy farmers received for their milk.

Average incomes dropped more than 8% in the same period to just over 20ppl compared to Expresss own rise of over 9%.

Lord Haskins blamed the strong Pound for the problems that the farming community are suffering at present.

“It is in the interests of all participants in the dairy industry that Britain joins the single currency, at the appropriate rate, as soon as practicable,” said Lord Haskins.

“This should eliminate the significant fluctuations in farmers income which have been a feature of recent years,” he added.

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