Arla Foods has unveiled growing retail and foodservice revenue in its Group 2017 results, while pledging to continue to further build the UK’s dairy industry.
Arla’s brands delivered the “greatest” revenue growth in 2017, including Lurpak growing by 9%, Anchor by 16% and the Arla brand by 18%.
Overall, retail and foodservice revenue rose to £1.94 billion (€2.21 billion), up from £1.79 billion (2.19 billion) in 2016.
The company’s reported growth follows its recent £72 million investment in the UK business and was against what it described as the “challenges” facing the dairy industry, including volatility in the global milk market, a weak British pound and Brexit uncertainties.
Tomas Pietrangeli, managing director, Arla Foods UK, comments: “Arla was both the fastest growing FMCG brand in the UK and the only leading dairy company delivering branded growth.
“Our commitment to our ambitious plans are certainly driving financial returns and we will be focused on this again during this year. Making innovative and inherently natural dairy products, produced responsibly and sustainably, enables us to continue to deliver in an ever-increasing consumer driven grocery market.”
Within the Arla brand range, Arla Skyr was lifted by 45%, Arla Protein by 69% and Arla B.O.B. by 45%.
For Arla Protein, last year saw a focus on providing products which appealed to consumers in a performance mindset such as the Arla Protein Pouch and new yogurt flavours such as mango, kale and lime.
Looking to 2018, the company has decided to increase the branded share of its portfolio, which is expected to continue to provide some mitigation for Arla farmers against the volatility of global milk prices.
Growth in the UK was also attributed to investment and expansion of Arla’s sales channels, which carried through into its foodservice division which rebranded as Arla Pro during 2017 helping drive revenue growth at 22% versus last year.
In addition, Arla’s 2020 Good Growth strategy also focuses on stepping-up its digital and ecommerce efforts to create a distinctive offer targeting younger and more digitally savvy shoppers as well as modernising the perception of dairy.