UK milk processor Robert Wiseman Dairies today [Tuesday] reported pre-tax profits down more than 10% to £16.5m (US$24m) for the year to the end of March.

Exceptional losses and costs associated to business restructuring and an inquiry by the UK Office of Fair Trading depressed profits, the group said. The month-long investigation into the Scottish fresh milk business resulted in the trade regulator imposing caps on the prices Wiseman can charge for milk in the Scottish market.

Costs came in at £2.1m, including £0.7m of OFT costs. Nevertheless, "We are pleased that the underlying profitability of the group showed a small increase,"" Wiseman said in a statement.

Milk volumes processed by the group climbed 13.4% to 920m litres in the year to the end of March, with turnover increasing 24% to £371m.