(Adds detail, background on milk prices)
Jan 31 - Dairy Crest, Britain’s largest dairy food company, said total revenue for the April-December period was well ahead of last year, driven by strong demand for its top brands.
The butter, cheese and cooking spray maker said its key brands - Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight - delivered revenue growth of 7 percent during the period.
However, a rise in prices of raw materials such as milk and cream has hurt company’s margins at its butter business, prompting it to cut back on marketing activities.
The company said on Wednesday volumes for its Country Life butter had come under pressure due to increase in the cost of cream, but added that promotional activity would pick up in 2018.
The average farm-gate milk price in Britain rose 27 percent in 2017 to 28.70 pence per litre, according to data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. (bit.ly/2E0wiXS)
Dairy Crest said its outlook for the full-year remains in line with its expectations. (Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)