Key brand sales at Dutch dairy company Friesland Coberco increased by 14 per cent last year, helping the company to a 9 per cent rise in turnover to €4.7 billion. Key brands include Frisian Flag, Dutch Lady, NoyNoy, Frico, Peak and Debic.
Including new brands such as Chocomel, Fristi, Extran and Milli, turnover from key brands increased by 29 per cent, the company said, adding that they now accounted for 42 per cent of total sales.
Net profit for the year was up 6 per cent to €84 million, a marked improvement on the company's own predictions of €79 million which it made at the time of its interim results. Friesland Coberco said that the acquisition of the Nutricia Dairy & Drinks Group at the end of 2001, including brands such as Chocomel, Fristi, Extran and Milli, had also helped lift net profits while at the same time contributing a 12 per cent increase in turnover.
The good sales of branded products partly offset disappointing selling prices for standard dairy products such as milk powders, whey powders, butter and some cheeses, the company said.
Friesland Asia Pacific saw a marked improvement in turnover, and ingredient arm Kievit's turnover increased through the internal transfer of the creamer activities from Borculo Domo Ingredients and organic growth. The net turnover of the group's other operating companies fell, mainly owing to lower selling prices. The consumption of a number of dairy products in Western Europe also fell.
For 2003, the company said that it expected to see further growth in sales despite the downturn in the general economic and political climate and in consumer spending behaviour.