Swiss dairy group Emmi is to buy a 60% stake in yoghurt and dessert maker Nutrifrais from Geneva-based LRG Group, gaining the licence for the Yoplait and TamTam brands.

Emmi said today (8 April) that it hopes to reinforce its market presence in the yoghurt and dessert segments through the deal, which it said will offer "good prospects" for the future of the Geneva site.

The company also said it plans to expand the technically well-equipped dairy as a centre of competence for flan and other specialities for the national and international markets.

"With a majority holding in Nutrifrais, we will not only be strengthening the presence of Emmi in French-speaking Switzerland, but also responding to the constantly increasing pressure from imports," said Emmi CEO Urs Riedener.

The acquisition of the stake will take place subject to the approval of the Swiss Federal Competition Commission.

The companies have not disclosed a purchase price.

LRG director Frédy Currat added: "It is important to the LRG Group that milk processing stays in the region. From our perspective, Emmi is a strong partner for the sustainable development of Nutrifrais."

Emmi today posted a 42.3% increase in 2008 profit boosted by a solid market performance and rigorous cost management.

For the 12-month period, Emmi posted a net profit of CHF58.7m (US$51.2m) compared to CHF41.3m in 2007.