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    Arla posts flat 2023 sales as consumers opt for discounted products

    Farmers’ cooperative Arla Foods, one of the world’s biggest dairy firms, on Tuesday reported flat 2023 sales as consumers opted for discounted products but said it expects positive momentum in the second half of the year to continue in 2024.

    “We have navigated a deflated and volatile global dairy market as well as headwind from several currencies,” CEO Peder Tuborgh said in a statement.

    “While we anticipate continued volatility on multiple levels, our strong performance in the second half of 2023 makes us face 2024 with great confidence,” he said.

    Owned by more than 8,000 dairy farmers in Denmark, Sweden, Britain, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands, Arla said revenue stood at €13.7 billion (£11.74bn) in 2023 compared with €13.8bn  in 2022.

    At Arla Foods UK, revenue rose 2.4 per cent in 2023 to £2.6bn, versus a 17.5 per cent growth in 2022, which the company said reflects the challenges faced by high inflation and elevated dairy prices, while adding that consumers started returning to branded products in the second half of the year.

    Within the UK branded volumes grew by 2.2 per cent, with strong growth in Arla Protein, Starbucks and Arla Pro, growing by 66.4 per cent, 26.2 per cent and 8.5 per cent respectively. 

    “As the UK’s largest dairy cooperative and supplier of some of the UKs best loved brands, it’s important that we ease pressures on cash strapped shoppers when we can, as well as returning a fair price to our farmers so we can keep supermarket shelves full,” Bas Padberg, managing director of Arla Foods UK, commented.

    “Arla’s brand portfolio demonstrated its robustness in volatile conditions, and we made strong recovery in the second half of 2023 with a strategic branded volume growth.”

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