Robert Wiseman to double capacity at Somerset plant

Robert Wiseman has announced plans to more than double the capacity of its Somerset dairy.

The Bridgwater site, which is under construction and set to be operating by the end of the year, will have an initial capacity of 200m litres.

But with increased sales volumes and pressure on existing dairies, Wiseman plans to increase capacity to 500m litres, matching their dairy at Droitwich Spa.

The announcement came as Wiseman delivered a trading update ahead of its 31 March year-end, predicting sales and turnover to be in line with expectations.

The company said it had successfully increased its business, with new sales of 40m litres to north of England retailer Booths and the Co-Operative Group in the South West and Scotland.

Organic milk sales were also encouraging, after orders from Tesco and Rachel’s Organic began in November last year.

Liquid milk consumption had also been stimulated with the launch of flavoured organic milks, flavoured milk for children and fortified milk products, the company added.

Billy Keane, Robert Wiseman’s finance director, said despite intense competition, recovery of margins had continued from the first half of the year.

“We remain optimistic that with our new acquisitions and construction of the new dairy well underway, we are in excellent shape going forward,” he said.

Robert Wiseman’s full-year preliminary results will be announced on Monday, 14 May.