Dairy Crest consolidates business into single structure

Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:07am EST

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Britain's Dairy Crest Group Plc, which has been trying to cut losses in its core milk business, said it would consolidate its business into a single structure from the next financial year.

The maker of Cathedral City cheese said it expects annual cost savings of at least 5 million pounds ($7.74 million).

Dairy Crest also said Director of Finance Control Tom Atherton would replace Alastair Murray as finance director, effective May 23. Murray is stepping down after 10 years in the role to pursue other interests.

The milk processor, whose brands include Country Life, Clover and flavoured milk drink Frijj, will continue to report its results for cheese, spreads and dairies categories separately.

Aggressive price wars between supermarkets and low-bulk cream prices have hurt Dairy Crest's core milk business. But strong cheese and spreads sales have helped the company maintain profitability.

Dairy Crest also said it retained its contract to supply milk to super market chain Sainsbury's until 2017.

Shares in the company were up about 0.7 percent at 422.05 pence at 0803 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.