Improving sales of key brands including Clover, Country Life Spreadable and Cathedral City have kept Dairy Crest on track to meet previous performance targets, the company has said in its latest trading update.

The dairy giant said the flagship brands in its food division had boosted volumes by 14% over the equivalent period last year, while sales were up 8% by value over the three months to 30 June.

That helped offset a 3% fall in sales at its dairies arm, which the company blamed on lower volumes and prices in the ingredients market.

Dairy Crest also announced that Anthony Fry is to replace Simon Oliver as chairman in 2010. Fry joined the board in 2007 and will serve as deputy chair for an interim period before succeeding Oliver.

“Simon has chaired the board through a significant period for Dairy Crest, developing it as the UK’s leading dairy company and overseeing its first major international investment,” Fry said.

“In taking on the role of chairman my task will be to guide the business through the next stage of its development.  I am excited by the breadth of opportunities that lie ahead.”