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Dairy Crest sees rise in internet-to-doorstep sales

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Dairy company Dairy Crest says it is now taking close to £1m a week from its milk&more service, which brings the power of the internet to the traditional milk round.

Milk&more is designed to bring ecommerce convenience to doorstep milk deliveries, with shoppers able to order groceries for free next-day delivery to their doorstep as late as 9pm on the previous evening.

In an interim management statement for the nine months to December 31, issued today, the company said weekly sales through the service had risen from just under £800,000 in September to almost £1m. Since September, improvements to the service have included a system upgrade to increase capacity and improve the website.

Television advertising of the service launched in January of this year and, said Dairy Crest, has “accelerated customer recruitment”.

The online initiative is part of the company strategy to increase ‘added value’ sales in three areas. The other two are through improved sales of milk to major supermarkets, and of its own brand products, Cathedral City, Country Life, St Hubert, Omega 3, Clover and Frijj. Sales of these products, Dairy Crest said today, have enjoyed a 7% sales rise in the first nine months of its financial year.

Overall, however, sales were “broadly unchanged” from the same period last year. Pre-tax profits for the nine months to December 31 was “in line with expectations”.

Chief executive Mark Allen said: “We remain cautious about the economic environment for next year but we are well-positioned to meet the challenges.

“Our strong range of products and broad customer base will help with this. In addition we will continue to innovate, control our costs and support our brands.”

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