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Arla Foods UK delivers excellent branded growth in a volatile market as Arla Foods amba 2016 full year results announced

Arla’s largest market delivered strong business performance throughout 2016 with performance driven by brand growth across all categories
  • Arla’s largest market delivered strong performance throughout 2016
  • UK performance driven by brand growth across all categories

Arla Foods amba, the farmer-owned dairy company, today released its Group 2016 results, announcing strong performance across its branded portfolio.

The UK, Arla’s largest market, performed strongly against a tough backdrop by increasing its market share across most of its categories. It achieved this by launching a wide range of innovative products, attaining its highest rate of branded products to date1 and working closely with retailer customers to maintain a leading position in own-label.

Overall revenue in the UK decreased from EUR 2.5 billion in 2015 to EUR 2.2 billion in 2016, a direct result of lower global market prices and unfavourable exchange rates. As with the Arla Group, the UK business was not immune to challenges facing the global dairy industry but with the growth from its branded portfolio, this enabled the UK to play a positive role in the Group performance. 

For the 2016 financial results for Arla Foods amba, click HERE.

Arla Foods UK delivered its ambitions of growing its branded business with a focus on its three strategic brands; Arla, Lurpak and Castello. In line with the UK’s Strategy 2020, the organisation’s most ambitious business strategy, Arla aims to create the Arla brand into a top household name by 2020, grow Castelloto become the best known premium cheddar and speciality cheese brand3 and establish itself as the champion of British dairy.

The Arla brand, launched in the UK in 2015, underpins its focus on healthy and natural into its key categories including milk, milk based drinks, yogurts and cheese. Arla branded products achieved volume driven growth of 7.6% compared to 5.2% in 20154.

Key growth highlights in 2016 include (all figures volume driven growth4 unless stated otherwise):

  • Arla’s relentless focus on adding value to milk is demonstrated through its fast growing Arla branded milk portfolio. In 2016, Arla branded milk grew 12%, and added £95m5 to the milk category with successful launches of the award winning Arla B.O.B6, Arla Farmers Milk, Arla Organic Farm Milk and for the on the go consumer, Arla Cravendale 250ml.
  • Arla works closely with its retailer customers to provide greater choice for consumers within the milk aisle. Developed by Arla in 2016 and launched in January this year, ASDA Vitamin D milk, fortified fresh milk, helps customers obtain their recommended daily allowance. In addition, Morrisons Milk for Farmers, launched in 2015, accounting for around 15% of sales within the categories that it competes in7.
  • Arla Lactofree product range has had another year of double digit growth with +18% growth (23% in 2015).
  • Arla yogurt category, which the business first entered in 2015, has more than doubled year on year (+116%) resulting from the success of Arla skyr and Arla Protein both receiving prestigious awards in 2016.
  • Arla’s speciality cheese brand Castello accelerated its growth in 2016 to 18%, driven by the success of the award winning Castello Tickler Cheddar (6.7% in 2015). Arla produces award winning own-label cheese for most of the major UK retailers. It won over 150 industry accolades during 2016 and the overall cheese business grew 5.1% (2.8% in 2015).
  • Lurpak (+4.9%) and Anchor (-3%) continue to outperform the market in value and volume in a category that is in decline. Consumers continue to move towards more natural products, benefiting Lurpak and Anchor who maintain their number 1 and 3 positions and the overall Arla butter and spreads business that includes own-label.
  • Tomas Pietrangeli, managing director, Arla Foods UK, said: “In a year of continuing changes in the grocery market as well as political uncertainty, we were able to deliver a strong set of results by driving growth in the UK through our portfolio of popular products, and delivering efficiencies and cost savings in our supply chain8.

    “We maintained our commitment to innovation with a number of new and exciting product launches which achieved listings and consumer impact early on, and are performing well.

    “Despite these exciting developments we are, however, conscious of the longer-term context and potential impact of Brexit. That’s why we’re working closely with the wider food and farming industry, and with Government, to try and maximise opportunities of Brexit, whilst mitigating potential risks.

    “In 2017, we will focus on implementing our UK Strategy 2020 and continue to champion British dairy to help generate greater returns for our farmer owners.”

    Europe is Arla’s core commercial zone, contributing to 66 per cent of Group revenue in 2016. The UK is the largest market within the Europe Zone, contributing 35% of that zone and comprises 25% of the Group revenue.

    Notes to editors:

    During 2016, Arla introduced a range of innovative products that contributed to deliver strong growth across most of its core categories, further strengthening its role as the UK’s number one dairy company9.

    Additional key innovations in 2016 include:

    • Arla skyr introduced a number of new flavours, a yogurt drinks range and new fruit and vegetable pots.
    • Arla Protein saw a number of new products such as new milkshakes and snack pot with seeds and nuts ‘top hats’.
    • Arla Protein Cottage Cheese launch was the first Arla brand cheese on shelf and was joined later in the year by the creamy fat-free cooking cheese, Arla Quark, reflecting Arla’s focus on providing a range of healthier options.
    • The continued success of Arla Lactofree was helped by new natural yogurt pots and a fresh chocolate dairy drink.

    The Arla Foods amba 2016 Annual Report and the Arla Sustainability Report will both be published online on 2 March, 2017.

    Notes to editors:

    1 In 2016, 30% of Arla products sold in the UK were Arla Branded. Source: Arla Foods UK business group.

    3 Arla brand and Lurpak to be £400m brands (RSV) Castello a £40m brand by 2020 (RSV).

    4 Volume driven growth 1 Jan-31 Dec, 2016. Source: Arla Foods UK.

    Source: Nielsen 52 w/e 31st Dec 16. 52w/e value sales of the category, subtracting what the value of sales would be if all of Arla’s branded volume was sold at standard fresh pricing.

    Arla® B.O.B was voted Product of the Year, milk category, Consumer Survey of Products 2017 - At the same awards, Arla skyr was voted Campaign of the Year. The Grocer magazine awarded Arla Protein Cottage Cheese Top Launch within its Top Products supplement in December 2016.

    Source: Morrisons data.

    8 For more information on cost-saving programme:

    9 Arla Food UK has the largest milk pool. As well as being a leading supplier of fresh milk, number one in butter, spreads and cream, Arla is the UK’s largest cheese manufacturer. Source: DIN UK Milk Report 2016, Nielsen and Arla Foods UK business group.

    The trademarks Arla, Lactofree, Castello are registered trademarks of Arla Foods.

Arla Foods is a global dairy company and co-operative owned by 12,000 dairy farmers with circa 2,700 of whom are British.

Dating back to 1881, Arla’s purpose is to secure the highest value for its farmers’ milk, while creating opportunities for their growth. With production facilities in 11 countries and sales offices in a further 30, Arla is the world’s fifth largest dairy company and largest supplier of organic dairy products. Arla has a total of more than 18,000 colleagues and its products are sold under the well-known brands Arla®, Lurpak® and Castello® in more than 100 countries.

Arla Foods UK is the largest dairy company in the country and is home to leading dairy brands Anchor®, Cravendale, and Lactofree® with a turnover of €2.2 billion. As well as being a leading supplier of fresh milk, number one in butter, spreads and cream, Arla is the UK’s largest cheese manufacturer. It has also built the world’s largest fresh milk facility located at Aylesbury and has plans for it to be the first zero carbon site of its kind. The UK business has a team of approximately 3,500 colleagues located at its dairies, distribution centres and head office.

Contact Information

Flic Callaghan

07980 948159