Trewithen Dairy milk

The supplier invested another £2.5m in its dairy processing capacity last year

Trewithen Dairy owner Cornish Farm Dairy saw a 27% increase in turnover for the year to 30 April 2018, latest accounts have shown.

Group year-on-year sales rose by 27%, from £32.2m to £41.1m for the 12 months to 30 April 2018, fuelled by dairy commodity inflation and a 20% surge in volume sales of milk.

The increase also reflected strong growth among its regional independent customers and two major retail contract wins. Meanwhile, sales of the Trewithen Dairy brand, which includes fresh milk, yoghurt, butter and Cornish clotted cream, also rose, by 21% to £13.6m.

But despite this growth, group pre-tax profits slipped back slightly, from £663k to £489k, reflecting the “very competitive trading environment” and the fact the processor had focused on “strengthening its core business positioning and production capabilities”, said chairman Bill Clarke.

The business had invested an additional £2.5m in its dairy (on top of a £12m investment in 2014), expanding and upgrading its finished goods, chilled warehousing and transport fleet, as well as enhancing its processing capabilities and efficiencies.

It had also kept its milk price “highly competitive” and commenced a campaign to recruit new dairy farmers to ensure it had a “healthy supply of high quality, locally produced Cornish milk to meet growing demand” from both existing and new customers.

“The growth in sales was in line with our long-term plans for the business and in particular reflects our drive to develop a diverse but, at the same time, balanced customer and product base,” Clarke said.

“We have continued to strengthen our relationships with both national and regional customers and increased sales of both own label and Trewithen Dairy branded products,” he added.

“We were particularly pleased to be able to grow the number of Cornish dairy farmers supplying us. We believe we are a secure and progressive milk buyer and we are committed to paying our excellent farmers a highly competitive price for their milk and establishing strong long-term relationships with them.”