BUSINESS

Greek dairy producer Fage confirms it is leaving milk market

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Business

Fage, one of Greece’s leading dairy producers, has confirmed that it will be closing down its milk production unit in northern Greece and abandoning the market for long-life and chocolate milk.

The company said it will continue to focus its efforts on yogurt exports, which account for 82.4 percent of total turnover, while also continuing to produce cheese at its plant in Thessaly, central Greece.

Fage’s 37-million-euro milk production unit in Amyntaio, Florina, was inaugurated in the summer of 2005. Just over a year later, it stopped producing fresh milk and concentrated on long-life and chocolate milk, which in 2015 accounted for just 7 percent and 4.3 percent respectively of the total domestic market.

Milk production is an “exceptionally unprofitable activity,” Fage found in its annual report in December last year, before deciding this month to shut down its plant.

According to the company’s financial results, 2015 ended with sales of around 580 million euros, down 2.9 percent compared with the previous year, and net profits of around 13 million euros.

Sales by volume rose 3.2 percent last year compared to 2014, with the biggest increase coming from Italy (40.1 percent) and the UK (32 percent). In Greece, Fage saw its sales decline by 11.1 percent in 2015 compared with the previous year.

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