In order to generate ‘strong and sustainable profitability’ after a write-down of $108 million, Fonterra's Australian yoghurt and dairy dessert business has been sold to Parmalat Australia for an undisclosed sum.

The sale, set to be completed in the first half of 2016, includes Fonterra’s factories in Tasmania and Victoria, as well as brands Soleil, Tamar Valley Dairy, CalciYum and Connoisseur. A relevant part of this business was bought by Fonterra in 2013 from the receiver of Launceston-based company Tamar Valley Dairy.

The move marks a shift in Fonterra’s Australian business, which over the past years has been a difficult market due to strong competition.

“Our Australian operations have particular ingredient strengths in cheese, whey and nutritionals, complemented by our strong consumer and food-service businesses. As a key part of our multi-hub strategy, we are matching these strengths with the opportunities across our 100 markets,” said Theo Spierings, CEO at Fonterra.