Arla profits fall despite record sales
Record sales of Arla Foods' Lurpak and Anchor butter brands helped boost UK revenues for the firm last year, but group profits were hit amid a "tough" market.
The farmer-owned group said UK revenues rose 4% to £2.3bn in 2015 but added the UK business was "not immune" to difficulties in the sector, including the slump in milk prices.
The dairy co-operative warned earlier this month it may have to cut up to 500 jobs across Europe - some of which are likely to be in Britain - as part of an overhaul.
It has been slashing costs and aims to make further savings of £312m by 2020, starting with the first £77.9m in 2016.
As part of its Good Growth Strategy 2020 restructure, Arla Foods also recently announced management changes, with Peter Giortz-Carlsen switching from his role as head of the UK market to become head of Europe. Tomas Pietrangeli, who currently heads the Danish market, will become the UK chief in March.
The company said group profits dropped to £230m in 2015 from £249m the previous year.
Arla Foods chief executive Peder Tuborgh admitted difficult conditions had affected results.
"The global dairy industry has rarely been as tough and unpredictable, and 2015 has unfortunately been as challenging as we anticipated," he said.
"We have an extremely difficult task ahead of us in 2016 as global milk supply still exceeds demand.
"We do expect that the global market will begin to turn for the better towards the end of 2016."