Milk Link is “commercially, operationally and financially” stronger than it has been for some time, chief executive Neil Kennedy has claimed.

Pre-tax profits rose by £8.6m to £12.2m for the six months to 2 October, with EBITDA up 70% compared to the first half of last year.

Turnover at the dairy co-operative was up 9% to £283m.

Milk Link had delivered a “satisfactory trading performance” despite intense competition for market share and unprecedented levels of deep-cut promotional activity, Kennedy said.

Those conditions were offset by “unseasonably strong dairy commodity prices, increased levels of milk production from members and direct suppliers and the leveraging of cost-saving initiatives”.

Milk Link also revealed that it had consolidated three separate bank loans into a single facility via a refinancing.

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