The Yazoo owner saw sales fall 14% in 2009

The Yazoo owner saw sales fall 14% in 2009

Netherlands-based dairy group FrieslandCampina today (17 March) said that profits were up by over one-third during 2009 despite a decline in sales in the “challenging” dairy market.

The company posted a 35% increase in profit for the full year, which rose to EUR182m (US$250.2m).

Net profit was boosted by a “sound performance” from branded products in South-East Asia, Africa and Europe, an increase in the share of profits of non-consolidated associates and lower financing income and costs.

Operating profit rose 4% to EUR258m. Excluding one-off items relating to restructuring charges, operating rose 26% to EUR347m.

The dairy group said that cost-cutting initiatives exceeded expectations during the fiscal and operating costs decreased by 14% as raw milk costs fell.

However, FrieslandCampina said that revenues fell 14% to EUR8.2bn in 2009 as “challenging” market conditions hit demand for dairy products and selling prices slumped.

Commenting on the results, chief executive Cees 't Hart emphasised that the company had been able to build market share and expand its customer base, despite falling sales, in a number of markets.

“This constitutes the basis for our company's further growth. However, the poor selling prices of such products as milk powder, casein and basic cheese put the result under pressure. We face the challenge of becoming less dependent on those product categories,” he said.