Britain's Dairy Crest profit up, to expand cheese production

(Reuters) - Dairy Crest Group Plc DCG.L, Britain's largest dairy food company, said on Wednesday its full-year profit rose 3 percent, helped by strong demand for its cheese brand, Cathedral City.

Cheese volumes rose 3 percent and revenue from the business came in 24 percent higher, while total revenue rose 10 percent to 456.8 million pounds.

The company said it would expand its cheese production facility at Davidstow, in southwest England to 77,000 tonnes from 54,000 tonnes a year by raising cash through a share placement.

It would place 14.1 million ordinary shares, or about 9.98 percent of current issued shares, at a price of 495 pence per share.

The cost of the expansion is expected to be 85 million pounds and will be carried out over the next four to five years, Dairy Crest said.

The milk processor reported an adjusted profit before tax of 62.3 million pounds for the year ended March 31, higher than the 60.6 million pounds posted a year ago.

The butter, cheese and cooking spray maker said its key brands - Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight -delivered revenue growth of 6 percent in the year.

Frylight, the one calorie cooking spray business it bought in 2011, posted a 12 percent volume growth.

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair and Arun Koyyur