Milk producer Robert Wiseman Dairies said turnover and trading for the last fifteen weeks has been in line with expectations, bolstered by increased volumes at the Co-operative and Tesco.
Sales volumes continue to benefit from increased volumes with both supermarkets while volume gains with other multiple retailers and middle ground customers including an increased store allocation with Aldi from end of January 2012 have compensated for the end of supplies to Asda, it said.
As a result there has been no significant change to the overall volumes handled by the group.
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Bulk cream prices remained strong prior to the Christmas period. "As with previous years bulk cream values reduced over the Christmas/New Year period and are for this period below the levels reached earlier in the year," it said.
Wiseman said it will wait to see if prices will recover in February and March, but if the current levels were maintained, profits generated in the last quarter may be hurt unless there was either a compensating reduction in raw milk prices or increased milk selling prices which are both unlikely to be achieved prior to 1 April.
The company added that oil costs have remained volatile in recent weeks and diesel costs remain at a high level. The cost of plastic has reduced slightly but this benefit has been absorbed by the shortfall in cream revenues and the continued margin pressures experienced, Wiseman explained.
Capital expenditure continues as planned.
Cash flows remain positive and Wiseman anticipates that year-end debt will be lower than the level reported in September 2011.
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