Dutch dairy firm Campina and Danish-Swedish co-operative Arla Foods have abandoned merger talks, at least for now.

Following reports of financial differences, the two companies issued a joint statement late last month, saying they could not put the merger proposals to their members' councils "at present."

Arla chief executive Ake Modig said he would not be surprised if a merger went ahead in the near future.

"The idea (to merge) is still a good one and we would not be surprised if it did not pop up again in the not too distant future. I believe Campina is still the best match for Arla and Arla is the best match for Campina", he said.

There had been speculation that the talks had stalled over Arla's demand for extra cash for its co-operative owners, to level out differences in the structure of the groups.