Dairy Crest is still on track to hit year-end profit forecasts, the company said in a trading update just days after cutting farm-gate milk prices.

Analysts at Oriel Securities predicted full year sales would hit £1.33bn – a rise of 5% with adjusted pre-tax profit almost flat on £67.5m.

In a statement, DC said its leading cheese brand Cathedral City had seen strong growth, with sales of more than £100m.

And sales of St Ivel advance – a branded milk enriched with Omega-3 – have encouraged DC to launch an enriched version of its popular St Ivel Gold spread.

Liquid milk as well as many of DC’s cheese and spread brands benefited from retail price rises pushed through since last summer.

That had helped to offset rising fuel costs, the company said.

The benefits of the new Morrisons business won last year should also make themselves felt on the balance sheet, not least because processing plants are running at fuller capacity.