Arla Foods UK has reported a 5.2% increase in full-year underlying pre-tax profit to end September 30 of £44.5m.

Sales from continuing operations rose 4.6% to £1.32bn from £1.26bn last year.

The dairy company added that its UK supermarket milk volumes had increased by 4% during the period, with sales to Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and the supermarket sector the highest it had ever achieved.

However, it warned that there would be a “downward pressure” on raw milk prices across the UK dairy sector, but its portfolio of products would alleviate some of the pressure.

Sir David Naish, chairman of Arla Foods UK, said that its butter and spread brands Lurpak and Anchor had increased market share during the period and its milk brand Cravendale has resumed strong growth following investment in additional production capacity.

“We anticipate continued growth in both our branded and retailer branded business, supported by effective marketing programmes and the launch of new products,” he added.

However, the group warned that changes to its organisational structure last month would result in the loss of 60 senior and middle management positions over the next three months.

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