February 9, 2017 / 7:58 AM / a year ago

Dairy Crest sees higher year-end net debt on rising input costs

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Dairy Crest Group Plc, Britain’s largest dairy food company, said it expected year-end net debt to be “somewhat” higher than last year as rising milk and cheese prices in the UK put pressure on the group.

Overall volumes for nine months to Dec. 31 across its key brands, such as Cathedral City, Country Life, Clover and Frylight were in line with the same period last year, the maker of butters, spreads and cheese said.

“We have seen further milk cost inflation since the half year and have now announced increases in the price paid to farmers of 8.28 pence per litre since June 2016”, Dairy Crest said.

The company’s net debt stood at 229 million pounds ($286.4 million) as of March 31, 2016.

In November, Dairy Crest had warned input costs related to cheese would impact the volumes and profitability of its butter business.

However, the company assured that outlook for the full year ending March 31 was in line with its expectations. ($1 = 0.7995 pounds) (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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