LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – British food manufacturer Dairy Crest (DCG.L) said it had traded well and in line with internal hopes in its first quarter, driven by growth in sales of key brands such as Cathedral City cheese and Country Life butter.
The firm said on Tuesday its key brands division, which also includes Clover and St Hubert Omega 3 spreads and Frijj yoghurt, increased sales 3 percent in its first quarter.
Dairy Crest said it had made good progress with sales of liquid milk to major retail customers, particularly sales of milk in bags, using its patented jug, Jugit.
The firm has a national distribution deal with J Sainsbury (SBRY.L), the UK’s third largest supermarket, has started a trial with Tesco (TSCO.L), the nation’s largest retailer, and is also increasing sales to doorstep customers.
Dairy Crest also said it was making good progress on reducing costs and debt and was “well placed to deliver over the rest of the year.”
Shares in the group closed Monday at 394.4 pence, valuing the business at 526 million pounds ($804.1 million).
(Reporting by James Davey, editing by Matthew Scuffham)