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Lion full year shows flavoured milk on the up

Lion’s Dairy & Drinks business was the star of the company’s full year report late last week, in the face of a faltering market share in beer.

Flavoured milk saw a boost last year thanks to growth in the South-east Asian market, enabling the Dairy and Drinks division to outshine the Japanese-owned business’ traditional mainstay.

The Dare Iced Coffee product was heralded at the “star of the portfolio”, performing exceptionally well, with sales volume up by 9.9 per cent on the previous year in the grocery and convenience channel, ahead of total market growth of 4.6 per cent.

Australian classic flavoured milk brand Big M also managed to deliver 11 per cent growth in the Victorian channels, off the back of a successful marketing campaign.

Lion CEO Stuart Irvine said that Lion’s “solid performance” in the highly competitive global and domestic marketplace highlighted the underlying strength of the core business, and reflected ongoing investment in brands and innovation.

“Significant progress in the turnaround of our Dairy & Drinks business was a key contributor to our improved performance, in particular a strong performance from milk-based beverages,” he said.

“Innovation, disciplined cost management and recent restructuring has helped Lion weather challenging conditions in the Australian consumer goods sector, including declines in some dairy and juice categories and we are well placed to continue our growth agenda for Dairy & Drinks including investing to continue to increase our presence in Asia, primarily through growth in branded yoghurts.”

Lion’s Zooper Dooper water ice also rated a mention in the full year report, with 18 per cent growth in new revenue, boosted by a marketing partnership with Cricket Australia’s Big Bash League.

The company has invested $87 million in transforming its white milk and milk-based business footprint on the eastern seaboard, as well as a $40 million in the Bentley plant in Western Australia.

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