Robert Wiseman Dairies has reported a 2% increase in sales volumes for the first three months of its financial year despite admitting the last few months had been “among the most difficult we have ever faced as a business”.

The company would need to increase prices to recover the soaring cost of diesel, HDPE, electricity and gas, but it was confident full-year results would be in line with expectations, said chairman Alan Wiseman.

“We are confident that with a robust balance sheet, the most modern and efficient network of dairies and distribution centre in the UK, and the support of our customers, we can rebuild margins back to acceptable levels,” he added.