Arla's sites in Settle and Leeds helped to feed nation during pandemic

ARLA Foods' sites in Yorkshire played key roles in ensuring Britain maintained a strong supply of diary products during the pandemic.

Arla's site in Settle, North Yorkshire

Arla Foods UK reported revenue growth of 4.7 per cent in the first half of 2020 with a net revenue of £1bn (€1.2bn).

The growth comes as food service closures shifted demand into shops and supermarkets with dairy proving a high priority product as the nation went into lockdown.

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In a statement, Arla said: "Consequently, the company underlines that the high revenue figures mask a complex story of changed profitability, operating costs and temporary demand which may not be sustained across the rest of the year."

Ash Amirahmadi, Managing Director Arla Foods UK, said: “As British consumers were asked to stay at home, many turned to our household brands like Arla Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor.

"With more people cooking and dining at home to stay safe, demand spiked and our retail sales grew.

"However, at the same time our food service business almost came to a complete standstill overnight as restaurants, coffee shops and canteens closed. So there was a dramatic shift in our business for most of the half-year, but our colleagues have adapted extremely well to working through difficult conditions and I am very grateful for their support and efforts to help feed the nation.”

Arla Foods warned that while its overall performance had been good in the first half of 2020, the lack of profitability in the liquid milk category in the UK market remains a challenge.

Arla's site in Settle, North Yorkshire, produced the milk for the Government care packages during the height of the pandemic.

Arla employs 1,400 people in Yorkshire. It has two production sites (Settle and Stourton, near Leeds), one National Distribution Centre (Stourton) and its UK head office, which is also in Stourton.

Arla also has 199 farmer owners based in Yorkshire.