Arla Foods and Robert Wiseman Dairies, which is holding its milk price for April, have both released upbeat trading statements, despite recent farm-gate price cuts.

They follow Dairy Crest’s report last week that it would hit year-end profit targets, forecast by analysts at Oriel Securities to be about £67m.

Oriel predicted Arla would report pre-tax profits of about £28m, on higher sales of £1.32bn.

Wiseman was also expected to perform well in the last financial year, with pre-tax profit at £25m on sales of £490m.

Arla said its brands, such as Anchor and Lurpak spreads, grew last year to take one-fifth of the market.

Liquid volumes supplied to supermarkets were 3% ahead of last year, largely driven by sales of the extended-life Cravendale brand.

Wiseman also reported milk volumes ahead of forecasts and confirmed speculation that its planned dairy near Taunton, Somerset, would be capable of processing 200m litres a year.

fwbusiness@rbi.co.uk