Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 0°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Food & Drink: Windfall for Dairy Crest workers after £17.6m property deal

15:18 31 January 2014

Dairy Crest said today that its profits will come in ahead of expectations following a major property sale.

Dairy Crest said today that its profits will come in ahead of expectations following a major property sale.

Archant ? 2007

More than 1,200 staff at Cathedral City firm Dairy Crest are to share out an extra bonus pool worth £2.5million after the group secured a top price sale for one of its London milk depots.

shares

The windfall comes as it said annual profits were now set to beat expectations and come in “significantly” ahead of a year earlier following a bumper year for profits on properties after securing a £17.6m sale of its Nine Elms site to the Battersea Power station development firm.

Managers and office staff will receive the payout in the summer, on top of the usual annual bonus scheme. Milkmen and factory workers take part in separate bonus schemes, but are also expected to benefit from the group’s profits boost.

Surrey-headquartered Dairy Crest made £15m profit on the sale of Nine Elms, which is set to see proceeds from property sales for the year to the end of March come in at around £18 million - £10 million more than expected.

Nine Elms employs around 50 milkmen and van drivers, but Dairy Crest said it will transfer affected staff to neighbouring depots over the next 18 months.

It is shutting depots at a pace of around five a year as it battles against a declining doorstep delivery market amid competition from supermarkets and convenience stores, although it still has around 80 sites across the UK. The group is also cutting costs and said it was on track to deliver savings above its annual £20m target.

Dairy Crest said its brands saw a mixed performance in the third quarter, with a sharp pick-up in sales growth for key products Cathedral City, Country Life, Clover and Frijj, but worsening conditions for its spreads business.

While the four major brands saw 4% growth in the nine months of its year so far, it said annual spreads profits would be lower-than-expected amid stiff competition and a falling market.

Consumers are using spreads less due to the increasing popularity of bread alternatives such as wraps, while they are also throwing less food away, according to Dairy Crest.

Charles Pick, analyst at Numis Securities, cautioned that excluding the property profit sales and after the bonus handout , the update revealed an underlying downgrade in full-year profits.

Panmure Gordon experts added: “Underlying trading conditions remain challenging, particularly in dairy and spreads, but cost savings and momentum in cheese spreads should help to alleviate this pressure.”

shares

1 comment

  • it would be better to plough the money back into a failing company.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

James Allen of Birketts.

Regional law firm Birketts has advised the shareholders of Cambridge-based environment, health and safety management and sustainability software specialist cr360 on its sale to US-based safety science company UL Group.

Kent Blaxill's Alpine cyclists, from left,  Kevin Pryke, James Park, Simon Blaxill and Jullian Wood, present a cheque for £2,000 to Phillip George of the Rob George Foundation.

Four managers from Colchester-based builders’ merchant chain Kent Blaxill have presented £2,000 to a local charity following a cycle ride in the Alps.

Film students at UCS in Ipswich.
Auditions are planned for actors to wanting take part in student films

Could you take a starring role in a student-produced film?

Giles Ellerton, from BT Group, David Bell, FSB Essex Chair, ECC Cllr Lady Patricia Newton, Caroline Thomas, from The Social Accelerators, ECC Cllr Kevin Bentley and Paul Pritchard, from Abacus Accountancy, gathered at to mark superfast broadband coverage achieved across Essex business parks.

A celebration to mark the successful roll-out of superfast broadband to business parks across Essex was held on Thursday.

The main terminal building at Stansted Airport

Budget airlines easyJet and Ryanair have each announced a new route from Stansted Airport.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24