A spokesperson for the company, which has a strong hold in the British dairy market with brands such as Cathedral City cheese and Clover spreads, said the company was not looking to sell off or drop any other names products from its portfolio.
Although the group was unable to speculate on the future for its yoghurt operations, it said that it still had until March next before ceasing distribution of Yoplait, during which time, economic developments were uncertain. According to Dairy Crest, the joint venture had already been up for review in 2012, with both companies deciding the sale was the right decision in the current market.
The decision to sell back its 49 per cent stake in the Yoplait Dairy Crest joint venture, which was formed in 1991, was announced late last week as part of a trading update from the group.
The £63.5m sale of the stake is expected to be used by the company as a means of repaying debts allowing it to focus on fully owned brands such as Clover, Country Life and Cathedral City.
All three of the brands are expected to show strong growth for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2009, according to Dairy Crest.
“Our key brands have benefited from our decision to continue to invest in advertising and promotions and we are well placed to deliver volume growth going forward,” stated Mark Allen, group chief executive. “In addition, we continue to reduce costs across the whole business with particular focus on our Dairies division.
The company said that it expected it fiscal performance to be in line with its previously stated predictions announced back in November 2008 and February 2009.