ROBERT WISEMAN Dairies have reported rosy financial figures for the six months to October.

The firm‘s interim profits increased by 3.7% to £15m – equivalent to 2.47 pence per litre sold, compared to 2.56ppl in the same period in 2003.

A spokesman for the firm said: “It‘s a balancing act that we‘re very proud of: We‘re taking one of the lowest profits per litre from the farmers and we‘re paying the highest prices.”

Milk sales were up 7.4% to 607m litres, boosting turnover 10% to £245m, and the recent reshuffle of milk suppliers to the big three supermarkets will add a further 100m litres to sales from the New Year.

Chairman Alan Wiseman said: “We were disappointed to have lost out on the ASDA contract but net volumes will increase by 100 million litres through our contract wins with Tesco and Sainsbury‘s. 

“Supply positions were secured with Somerfield, Netto and the Big Food Group. As the new business wins settle in, the Group will over time be able to reduce costs and restore margins.”

The interim dividend paid to shareholders was also up 10% on last year, at 2.2p, and earnings per share up a hefty 9.3% at 13.22p.

Wiseman‘s marketing of a low-fat milk brand called “the One” appeared to have paid off, as sales continued to grow.