Dean Foods profits slumped in 2017

Dean Foods' profits slumped in 2017

Dean Foods, the major US dairy supplier, is reportedly planning to close a plant in the state of Illinois.

Reports in the US say Dean Foods is to shut the facility in the village of Huntley in September.

just-food approached Dean Foods a number of times for comment but the company had not responded at the time of writing.

The closure of the site will lead to 131 staff losing their jobs, reports say.

Dean Foods' profits nearly halved in 2017, falling more than 48% to US$61.6m. When the company published its financial results for the year, CEO Ralph Scozzafava said: "In 2017, we navigated a rapidly-changing industry landscape and a dynamic retail environment. As we saw the marketplace challenges on volume and mix building, we directed our focus on improving our execution in securing branded and private-label volume and immediately began taking steps to lower our overall cost base.

"Some of these actions are already gaining momentum and contributed to our fourth quarter 2017 financial results. These actions become a critical path in our go-forward commercial agenda as well as an aggressive enterprise-wide cost productivity program in 2018 and beyond.

"We are making important choices in 2018 and taking aggressive but necessary steps to drive our strategic plan, reset our company to make Dean Foods more competitive, and enable us to deliver solid and consistent earnings and cash flow over the long term. We must dramatically reduce our cost structure to match our smart volume today, creating the right network and cost base with an eye towards the future."

Dean Foods' net sales rose 1% in 2017 to $7.79bn.