Dean Foods endures ‘most challenging year’

Dean Foods Company’s net income from continuing operations for the 2007 fourth quarter totaled $32.6 million, compared with $76.3 million in the 2006 fourth quarter.

Net income from continuing operations for the full year 2007 totaled $130.5 million, versus $280.3 million in 2006.

For the 2007 fourth quarter, net sales were $3.2 billion, an increase of 24.6% from net sales in fourth quarter 2006. For the full year ended Dec. 31, 2007, net sales reached $11.8 billion, a gain of 17.1% from net sales in the previous year.

Consolidated operating income in the fourth quarter was $142.5 million, a decrease of 17.4% from $172.6 million in fourth quarter 2006. For the full year, consolidated operating income fell 14.9% to $553.6 million from $650.7 million in 2006.

"2007 was the most challenging year in the history of Dean," said Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer. "We were faced with steeply rising and record high dairy commodity costs in our Dairy Group operations. At the same time, WhiteWave Foods was challenged by a severe oversupply of organic milk that drove down realized prices and increased competitive intensity in the industry."

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