Arla Foods has reported robust first half results, boosted by new product launches in the UK.
Decreasing market prices in Europe negatively affected overall group revenue which fell 5.3% to €4.9bn, although strategic branded sales grew 6.1%.
Despite the challenging market conditions, Arla Foods UK strengthened its like-for-like business performance. Volume driven revenue in the UK increased by 1.5% year-on-year, which the group said the result of a strong focus on its branded portfolio and the launch of a range of new dairy products.
Key UK highlights included Lurpak volumes increasing by 5%, whilst Castello grew by 24%. Arla Lactofree continued its double digit volume growth, up 20.9%; and having entered the UK yogurt category in 2015, its new Arla skyr and Arla Protein brands saw growth of 42.9% and 72.8% respectively.
Tomas Pietrangeli, managing director, Arla Foods UK, said: “In the UK, we have driven growth through our portfolio of branded products which include our three key global brands Lurpak, Arla and Castello. We also launched a range of products which are performing well and which we are confident will positively impact our full year performance. For the rest of the year, we will focus on implementing the key principles of our newly launched UK Strategy 2020, where we will continue to champion British dairy. This, in turn, will help generate greater returns for our farmer owners.”
Commenting on the recent EU referendum, Tomas added: “Despite the potential challenges of Brexit, the UK remains a hugely important market for Arla and the outcome has not changed this. While we are uncertain of the implications, I hope to see our products continue to move freely to and from the UK across the markets in which we operate. We are in a strong position to not only weather any storms that may arise, but also take advantage of any opportunities.”