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RobertWisemanDairies (RWD)

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Tuesday 30 March, 2010

RobertWisemanDairies

Trading Statement

RNS Number : 3778J
Robert Wiseman Dairies PLC
30 March 2010
 



30 March 2010

 

 

ROBERT WISEMAN DAIRIES PLC ("THE COMPANY")

PRE CLOSE TRADING UPDATE AND BOARD CHANGE

 

 

Sales volumes and turnover for the year ending 3 April 2010 are above our forecast and the Board is confident that the Company will deliver profits for the year that are ahead of our previous expectations.

 

We highlighted in our Interim Management Statement on 28 January 2010 that volumes sold were running slightly ahead of management expectations.  It is pleasing to report that this trend has continued, with strong trading from our customers resulting in overall milk sales volumes being up over 11% for the year on a like-for-like 52 week basis (the previous financial year having been 53 weeks).  This will be a new record for the Group and significant and sustained capital investment in advanced dairy and distribution capacity has again proved to be important in allowing us to accommodate this growth.

 

The value of bulk cream, a commodity by-product of our production process, has stabilised after significant falls from its peak in October 2009.  We highlighted that the surge in bulk cream prices in the quarter to December 2009 had improved margins and this one-off benefit, while welcome, is unlikely to repeat itself in the forthcoming year.

 

Oil related costs have continued to rise in the second half-year after easing during early 2009.  In addition, diesel costs will be impacted by the announced duty increases next year, which kick off with a 1 pence per litre rise from 1 April.  There have also been upward moves in the Platt's resin index for HDPE, which impacts our plastic bottle costs, and it remains a concern that this upward trend will continue into the new financial year.

 

Increased capacity of 375 million litres per annum at our state-of-the-art Bridgwater dairy came on stream prior to Christmas 2009, slightly ahead of schedule and on budget.  The planned final phase of capital expenditure at Bridgwater, taking capacity to 500 million litres, is on track for completion by October 2010 at a cost of £10 million.

 

We are also very pleased with our new distribution depot at Amesbury and anticipate completing the transfer of runs from other depots by April 2010, thereby beginning to realise efficiencies in trunking and distribution costs.

 

We reported in our January Interim Management Statement that due to our continued strong cash generation, debt levels were running lower than had been forecast.  This trend has continued, allowing us to benefit from lower interest charges than budgeted.

 

The year-end debt will be impacted by the early payment of our second Interim dividend of 12.25p, which will be paid on schedule on 1 April 2010 at a total outlay of £8.7 million.

 

 

Board Change

 

Beverley Hodson, who joined the Board on 1 September 2005 to represent the interests of First Milk, is resigning with effect from 31 March 2010.  We would like to express our gratitude for her contribution over that period.  She remains a director of First Milk Limited.

 

Group Finance Director, Billy Keane, commented:

 

"We are on track for a very satisfactory set of Results for the year to 3 April 2010.  Looking forward to next year, we are in good shape with volumes growing, a sound balance sheet, low gearing and state-of-the-art facilities."

 

The Company's Preliminary Results for the year to 3 April 2010 will be announced on Monday, 17 May 2010.

 

Notes

 

Certain statements made in this announcement are forward looking statements.  Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from any expected future events or results referred to in these forward looking statements.  Unless otherwise required by applicable law, regulation or accounting standard, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future development or otherwise.

 

- ENDS -

 

 

Robert Wiseman Dairies PLC


Graeme Jack

07900 430269

Weber Shandwick Financial


Nick Oborne / Nick Dibden / Katie Matthews

0207 067 0700

 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
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