Dairy Crest has continued strong branded growth despite overall sales falling.

In the nine months to 31 December, turnover was down 1% year-on-year as a result of lower sales of commodity ingredients and milk to non-major retail customers, but pre-tax profits were "slightly ahead of expectations".

Supermarket milk sales rose, while Cathedral City, Country Life, St Hubert Omega 3, Clover and Frijj grew 10% on average.

Dairy Crest is to invest £75m in the next three years in improving its dairies division.