Scottish dairy company Robert Wiseman Dairies has said its sales volumes and turnover in the half year to 2 October were in line with its forecasts.

"The company is confident it will deliver results that are in line with current market expectations, despite recent increases in derv, energy and plastic costs," group finance director Billy Keane said.

In August the company was informed by Tesco and Sainsbury that it had been successful in significantly increasing the volume of fresh milk it supplies to the two retailers. The new business will commence in the first quarter of 2005. 

However, Robert Wiseman said it was "disappointed" to be informed in May that its supplies to Wal-Mart's Asda were to cease. Deliveries to Asda in England will end on 6 November 2004 and Scottish deliveries will end on 29 January 2005. 

The company said the net result of these changes will be that its overall volumes will increase by a net 100 million litres per annum.

"We are pleased to have secured long term volume growth for the business and look forward to developing our position as a key supplier to all our major customers including Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrisons and Somerfield," Robert Wiseman said.

The company plans to invest £7.5m (US$13.5m) in a new depot facility near Northampton, creating up to 175 new jobs. The depot will service the Southeast market and is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2005.