UK milk processor Robert Wiseman Dairies has made an upbeat statement about current trading ahead of its half year-end.

Group finance director Billy Keane will tell analysts later today [Monday]:

“Sales volumes and turnover for the half-year ending 28 September 2002 are in line with expectations. The combination of circumstances which occurred in the year ended 30 March 2002, namely exceptional milk buying losses, professional fees regarding competition issues and re-organisation costs have not been repeated during this period and, consequently, margins currently have improved slightly from the disappointing level of last year.

Our ‘state-of-the-art’ dairy at Droitwich also continues to show an improving performance, helped by additional throughput. We have recently commissioned a new filling line, taking capacity at the plant to 350 million litres per annum to meet anticipated customer demand. Our new depot at Avonmouth near Bristol opened ahead of schedule in early August 2002. We are meeting with our milk suppliers this week to agree new higher pricing for raw milk from 1 October 2002″.