Robert Wiseman Dairies has predicted above-expectation profits and turnover for the first half of the year on the back of 10% milk volume growth.

The Scottish milk giant said in a trading update today that sales volume and turnover for the six months to 3 October were both ahead of forecast. Sales were boosted after the company won a major supply contract with The Co-operative Group, which it started ahead of schedule in June following the collapse of Dairy Farmers of Britain.

The company also began supplying an extra 137 Sainsbury’s Local outlets in April, and has increased its middle ground business with Spar wholesalers Cappers and Blakemore.

Sales of value milk brand Fresh n Lo were ‘substantially’ ahead of last year, while sales of 1% milk The One were up 18% against 2008.

There was also better news on the commodity front, with bulk cream prices having recovered from the lows of last year – a situation that had caused Wiseman to issue profit downgrades in late 200. Oil-related costs have also eased.

However, a recent increase in the cost of resin used in plastic bottle manufacture could affect second-half profitability.

“We are on track for a satisfactory set of interim results,” said group financial director Billy Keane. “Looking forward to the remainder of the financial year, we are in good shape with a sound balance sheet, low gearing and state of the art facilities.”