Muller Milk Tanker

Dairy giant Müller UK & Ireland saw sales jump by more than £500m to just under the £2bn mark during the 12 months to 31 December, but losses grew as the supplier integrated Dairy Crest’s liquid milk business.

Müller’s group revenues grew by £647m to more than £1.9bn, according to its latest accounts.

However, pre-tax losses rose from £106m in 2015 to £114m, while operating profit before amortisation and impairment fell from £73.5m to £51m, largely as a result of the cost of integrating the Dairy Crest business at the start of 2016.

Müller also saw its gross profit margin fall from 28.2% to 27.1%, while liquid milk continued to be challenging, with the focus of the business remaining on “identifying cost reduction activities”.

The supplier’s market share by value in chilled yoghurts and potted deserts also fell year on year, from 22.1% to 21.5%, as a result of pricing pressure from the mults. However, market share by volume increased from 21.1% to 21.7%.

Despite its losses, a spokesman for Müller was bullish over the dairy giant’s future prospects. He insisted the Dairy Crest integration costs were a “one-off”, and cited plans, first outlined in September, for Müller to invest £100m in its yoghurts & desserts business over the next three years. “The future is all about adding value and new capabilities to the business,” the spokesman added.