Arla Foods UK has announced the planned closure of plants at Ruislip and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which is the final stage of its restructuring following its merger with Express Dairies.
Subject to consultation with staff, the sites will close in January and May 2005 respectively, and follow the closure of the Bamber Bridge dairy in Lancashire, a glass bottling facility in Hatfield and Express Dairies headquarters in Leicestershire.
Chief executive Neil Davidson said the performance of the group’s brands had been “exceptionally strong. In the butter, spreads and margarine sector, Lurpak saw 11% growth
in the last year while Anchor grew 1%, continuing its recovery.
“The Cravendale fresh milk brand grew by 34% in the key supermarket sector but still only accounts for 3.5% of the retail fresh milk market and has potential for further growth when new capacity comes on stream later in 2005.”
Synergy benefits from the tie-up with Express were ahead of schedule, while the company had made a net gain of 80 million litres of fresh milk volume since the merger, he said.