UNITED KINGDOM – UK dairy company Dairy Crest has reported its fiscal half year 2017/18 results, with an increase of 16% to revenue of US$258.5 million from the same period last year, as the company experiences “encouraging first half.”

According to FoodBev, the cheesemaker also announced that Cathedral City had volume growth of 10% with sales of US$315 million, while Clover had volume growth of 2% and Frylight’s volume growth increasing by 10%.

“Cathedral City, Clover and Frylight delivered good growth in both volumes and value.

Cathedral City, the nation’s favourite cheese, continues to go from strength to strength and has produced exceptional growth over the period.

We have delivered good profit growth despite a record high cream price, which has a temporary but significant impact on input costs in our butter and spreads business,” said Dairy Crest chief executive Mark Allen.

“We expect to accelerate sales of demineralised whey and GOS in the second half of this year.

In conjunction with our partner Fonterra we are making good progress in developing sales channels for our products.

Our strong brands and the quality and efficiency of our operating facilities mean that we are well positioned to grow.

While we expect butter input costs to continue to be challenging for the remainder of the year, we are confident in delivering our full year expectations.”

Volumes of the four key brands (Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight) grew by 4% in the first half of 2017/18 versus last year, in spite of the input cost challenges faced by Country Life.

Overall value growth of 6% was ahead of volume growth – a trend expected to continue in the second half of the financial year.

Market share by volume also increased by 1% over the past six months and Cathedral City currently accounts for 56% of all branded cheddar sold by UK retailers and 20% of the total everyday cheese market.