Dairy Crest has announced it expects its pre-tax profit to show good growth for the first half-year to 30 September 2004.

Its spreads business has continued to perform strongly and the company has increased its investment into its key brands of Clover, Utterly Butterly, St Ivel Gold and Country Life.

In addition, increased marketing support has maintained Cathedral City’s position as the UK’s number one cheddar, and this product has also seen strong growth levels, according to Dairy Crest.

The Yoplait brands have also experienced good levels of growth but the own brands fresh dairy products market remains challenging and consequently Yoplait Dairy Crest announced the proposed closure of its Enfield factory in early 2005.

Dairy Crest noted that it is pleased to have been maintained as a key supplier of fresh milk to both Sainsbury and Morrison, but disappointed to loose its contract with Tesco commencing in 2005.

Drummond Hall, the chief executive office announced: “This has been a solid six months of trading for Dairy Crest with results in line with expectations across our range of businesses.”