Dairy Crest has announced plans to sell the majority of its retailer brand cheese operations to First Milk for £61.9m.

The proposed sale, which is subject to approval from First Milk's members, includes the cheddar creameries at Haverfordwest and Aspatria, as well as the group's prepacking and whey processing facilities at Maelor.

Dairy Crest said that it would keep its creameries at Davidstow, Wexford and Hartington and its prepacking site at Frome.

Drummond Hall, chief executive of Dairy Crest, said: “This sale allows Dairy Crest to focus on accelerating the development of Cathedral City and its other cheese brands.”

Meanwhile, in a trading update released this morning, Dairy Crest said that the group had performed solidly in the first half and expected its first-half results to be in line with expectation.