UK dairy products firm Dairy Crest has said that its fresh dairy products joint venture, Yoplait Dairy Crest, plans to close its factory in Yeovil by June 2005, with the loss of approximately 260 jobs.

Dairy Crest said the decision to close the site, which currently makes own label dairy desserts for retailers, was made following consultation with key customers.

Yoplait Dairy Crest, a joint venture with Yoplait, has decided to focus its future activities on the development of branded products, such as Petits Filous, Frubes and Yop, which continue to show good growth.

Dairy Crest said the closure of the factory is expected to have a small benefit to group profitability in the year ending 31 March 2006 and will result in an exceptional cost in the region of £1.5m (US$2.8m) in 2004/05, representing Dairy Crest’s share of the closure costs.