UK milk supplier Robert Wiseman Dairies booked rising annual sales today (18 May) but said earnings fell by more than 8%.

The company, which supplies retailers like Tesco and The Co-operative Group, said turnover climbed 17.4% to GBP847.7m (US$1.3bn) during the 12 months to 4 April.

Adjusted operating profit was sown 8.6% to GBP35.1m, with operating profit per litre falling to 2.17ppl from 2.53ppl a year earlier.

Nevertheless, Wiseman said margins had improved during the second half of the year. First-half margins stood at 1.74ppl but higher selling prices and a cut to raw milk prices boosted margins to 2.55ppl in the second half of the year.

Chairman Alan Wiseman said: "The overall results for the year are satisfactory given the decline in margins experienced in the first half of the year. We are confident of growing volumes and continuing to rebuild margins over the medium-term."