U.K. Express Dairies announced on Friday that it is to combine its Northern Ireland liquid milk business with Golden Vale to form a joint venture. Express will own 80 per cent of the new group. The news came as the group reported almost flat sales in the half year ended September 30. Turnover was £449.6m ($639.8m) compared with £448.9m in the previous year. The inclusion of the Glanbia business, which the group acquired last year, was offset by declining doorstep sales and lower prices in key markets. Pre-tax profit was £16.2m, against £1.6m last time. Exceptional costs relating to integrating the Glanbia acquisition were £5.4m compared with exceptional losses of £21.9m in the comparative period. Earnings per share were 3.7p, against a loss of 0.9p last time. Source: The Financial Times.