Dairy Crest has reported a 9% increase in profits, driven by capital generated by the sale of property.

Adjusted profit before tax reached £43.7m in the six months to 30 September. The company - which owns leading dairy brands Cathedral City, Country Life, Clover, Frijj and Utterly Butterly - made a £4.6m one-off capital gain from the sale of four depots during the period. Revenue increased by 2% to £796.2m.

Dairy Crest had delivered a “robust” performance during the first half of the year and – in line with its strategy – had continued to grow its key brands, reduce costs and control debt, said chief executive Mark Allen. “Looking forward, the consumer environment is challenging and increasingly difficult to predict,” he warned, but added that Dairy Crest was confident it would deliver profits for the year in line with its expectations.