First Milk has posted a profit and a reduction in debt in its half-year results.
The group’s operating profit was £1.1 million during the six months to September 30, compared to a £7.6m loss for the same period last year. Net debt was down £14.6m to £46.1m.
The results are also a significant contrast to First Milk’s full-year annual results to March 31, which the co-operative released recently.
Those showed a significant rise in pre-tax losses to £25 million as the group raised serious concerns about its finances and access to bank lending going forward.
Discussing the half-year results to September 30, released this morning, First Milk chief executive Mike Gallacher said: "The actions taken to reduce costs, improve quality, and drive operational performance are delivering results, with further progress planned over the next year.
"We are confident that this will deliver improved milk prices and a more sustainable business model for our farmer shareholders."
First Milk also anticipated a positive operating profit for the next six months. This is for the period to March 2016. First Milk expects to make a profit for the current financial year as a whole.
“My team and I are very aware of how tough it is at present on farm and the need to sustain this improvement trajectory to deliver benefits to our members," Mr Gallacher added.