Wiseman reports strong start to the year

Robert Wiseman Dairies has reported a strong start to the financial year, with sales volumes up by 11.6% in the first quarter.

Volumes benefitted from consolidation within the sector and continued growth with existing customers, such as The Co-operative Group, which is due to take an extra 30m litres of milk per year from next month.

“Our financial performance has been satisfactory in the first three months of the year,” chairman Alan Wiseman said at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday (8 July).

“In our full year announcement in May, we highlighted the improvement in operating margins and the contribution to this from higher cream revenues. Although bulk cream returns have remained stable in recent months, as expected, the costs of plastic and fuel are higher than those incurred in the same period last year.

“The recovery of these additional costs, and the objective to rebuild our underlying operating margins, remains of primary importance.”

Plans to increase capacity of the Bridgwater dairy to 500m litres per year from November 2010 were on track and the firm was also progressing with an £8m investment to double fresh filtered milk capacity by next summer, he said.

Alan Wiseman stepped down as chairman of Robert Wiseman Dairies at the AGM and his brother, Robert Wiseman, took over as executive chairman. Alan will remain employed by the company.