21 November 1997

Milk unlikely to rise – Wiseman

DAIRY farmers should not expect to see any improvement in milk prices for most of 1998, according to Robert Wiseman Dairies chairman, Alan Wiseman.

"Unfortunately the dairy industry is inextricably linked to sterling and we can see no signs of it weakening," he said.

His comments came as he unveiled his companys interim results to Sept 27 on Wednesday, which showed another big leap in turnover and profits. These repeated last years 38% gain to show an operating profit of £8.7m on sales of £125m.

Only 25% of this increase was due to the acquisition of large parts of Scottish Pride last March, Alan Wiseman told FW. The rest was from winning new business.

He was particularly pleased that the 50% increase in sales volume (to 285m litres) had not led to any decrease in operating margin.

But the market remained extremely competitive, he said, and almost all the 2p/litre cut in prices to farmers this autumn had been passed on to supermarkets. &#42