First Milk turned a £9m loss in the first half of last year into a £3.2m profit for the equivalent period this term.

“The results in the first six months of last year were poor, mainly as a result of paying out a milk price that was ahead of market returns – a tactic we no longer pursue,” said chairman Bill Mustoe.

"This is the first time that we have produced half-year results and they are a good set of figures, demonstrating continuing momentum.”

Turnover for the six months to 30 September was up £24m to £280m, while the group cut its debt by a third to £63m, helped by the sale of a £18.5m stake in Robert Wiseman Dairies.

“We have laid out a strategy to grow our brands, diversify our product and market mix, lower our cost base and seek value in partnerships,” Mustoe added.

“We have made good progress on getting the fundamentals of the business right and have been able to deliver big improvements against all our key financial measures."

Read more
Cost-cutting tactics help First Milk return to profit (21 August 2010)
‘Great milk robbery’ claim is attacked by processors (12 June 2010)
First Milk appoints advisers in run-up to boardroom reshuffle (8 May 2010)