Sodiaal-owned French dairy Candia incurred losses of EUR25m (US$32.7m) last year as dairy groups struggles to cover cost increases.

Candia unveiled plans to close three of its eight milk packing plants last November, impacting 313 workers at the facilities in Lude, Saint-Yorre and Villefranche-sur-Saone.

Candia’s director of development Frédéric Chausson said the heavy red figures were largely a result of dairy groups being unable to negotiate a satisfactory deal with retailers on milk price increases.

“What retailers are offering does not alllow dairy groups to restore the deterioration in their margins these past two years,” Chausson said.

He estimates prices need to rise by around EUR0.10 per litre in relation to the low-point of 2012.

“If we don’t obtain sufficient price increases we will be obliged to close other plants, in addition to the three announced, and stop milk collections,” Chausson warned.

Candia’s turnover was EUR1.2bn.