Dairy Crest has agreed to sell its dairies operations to Müller for £80 million after revealing a 95 per cent slump in first-half profit.
Dairy Crest said the sale, which is expected to take several months, will protect long-term employment and help reduce costs and increase efficiency.
The maker of Cathedral City cheese and Country Life butter, said profit before tax fell to £900,000 in the six months to September 30 from £19.7 million a year earlier, hurt by a loss in dairies business, which accounts for 70 per cent of its revenue. Revenue rose 1 per cent to £682.1 million.
The deal comprises the fresh liquid milk, flavoured milk including the FRijj brand, bulk and potted cream, bulk butter and milk powder businesses of Dairy Crest.
It includes Dairy Crest’s dairy facilities at Severnside, Chadwell Heath, Foston and Hanworth together with around 70 depots.
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Dairy Crest said it would shut its Hanworth glass bottling dairy in west London and its cream potting facility in Somerset in September.
Müller UK, which is owned by Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller, said combining its Müller Wiseman Dairies and Dairy Crest’s dairies operations will “benefit customers, consumers and employees of both businesses whilst offering supplying farmers greater opportunity and security”.
Müller chief Ronald Kers said: “We are concerned that the dynamics of the UK fresh milk market areReuse content