May 18, 2017 / 7:29 AM / 3 months ago

UK's Dairy Crest reports full-year revenue down 1 pct, adjusted profit up

May 18 (Reuters) - Britain's Dairy Crest Group Plc said on Thursday its full-year adjusted profit to March rose 5 percent but revenue fell 1 percent with margins on its butters, spreads and oil business hit by higher input costs during the period.

The maker of Cathedral City cheese said it increased the price it paid for milk over the year, but in the first nine months of the financial year cheese retail prices had fallen or remained stable. However, it said prices had started to rise on the shelf since Christmas.

"Cream prices, which determine the input costs for butter, more than doubled during the year. Inevitably this has impacted margins in our butters, spreads and oils business," it said.

The average farm-gate milk price in Britain rose 22 percent year-on-year in March to 27.46 pence per litre, according to data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Dairy Crest said overall revenue from its four key brands such as Cathedral City, Country Life, Clover and Frylight were down 6 percent for the year ending March 31.

By 0721 GMT, the firm's shares were down 1.2 percent at 608 pence, while the index of mid-cap firms was down down 0.4 percent.

The company said total revenue fell 1 percent to 416.6 million pounds ($539.08 million), while adjusted profit before tax before exceptional items, amortisation and pension interest was up 5 percent at 60.6 million pounds.

$1 = 0.7728 pounds Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair

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