Dairy Crest said it had performed in line with expectations over the past six months despite the continuing economic turbulence.

In a trading update for the six months to 30 September, issued today, the company said it had balanced higher input costs and “subdued consumer spending” with cost-saving measures and a strong performance from its core consumer brands.

“At the same time, we are investing for the future, with new products and upgraded facilities,” Dairy Crest chief executive Mark Allen said, adding that the company was confident of delivering full-year profits in line with expectations.

The company also highlighted that it had recently agreed to lift the price paid for milk to farmers by 1.85 pence per litre from 1 October. It was “in the process of negotiating selling price increases” to offset the impact of its higher farm-gate prices.

Analysts at Investec said the update showed Dairy Crest had “held its own in a difficult consumer market” but warned there would be continuing challenges during the second half of the year, particularly in terms of recovering higher raw milk prices.

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