Lurpak owner Arla Foods boosted by lactose-free growth in 2019

Lurpak owner Arla Foods has seen profits rise as it was boosted by growth in the lactose-free market.

The co-operative, which is owned by thousands of farmers in the UK and other European countries, said net profit increased by 7% in 2019 as it was buoyed by lower costs.

The dairy firm said total group revenue increased by 1% to 10.5 billion euros (£8.7 billion) in 2019 after branded sales jumped higher.

It said the firm’s global branded business saw sales increase by 5.1% over the 12-month period.

The company said this was driven by new launches in its Lactofree arm as well as new organic ranges.

Last month, Arla confirmed plans to spend £25 million on the development of a UK site to develop its lactose-free milk products, as growth in non-dairy options continues to boom.

Peder Tuborgh, chief executive officer of Arla, said: “Throughout 2019 we continued to build on the positive momentum that we have created in the business and Arla is a stronger company than we were a year ago.

“In 2019 we were able to grow and improve our quality of business while continuing to deliver efficiencies beyond our initial expectations.”

Sales of Lurpak jumped over the year, increasing by 4.8% to 588 million euros (£489 million).

Meanwhile, Arla’s Castello cheese business saw total sales remain flat at 179 million euros (£149 million) amid a “challenging” environment in Europe.

Natalie Knight, chief finance officer of the company, said: “Arla’s global brands continue to be at the heart of our business and in 2019 we have clearly strengthened consumer trust in our brands.

“We delivered a range of popular dairy products that capitalised on increasing consumer demand for healthy and sustainable food choices, which helped us exceed our expectations for branded growth in 2019.”

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