The co-operative reported a £2.8m drop in net profits, but said this was ‘in line’ with budgets and expectations.
First Milk has announced a £2.8 million drop in net profit as a ‘direct consequence’ of improving its milk price relative to its competitors.
The cooperative reported a second year of positive trading as group turnover grew 22 per cent to £252.7m.
This was driven by a combination of new business growth, higher cheese and brokered milk selling prices and higher returns from whey.
Operating profits before exceptional items fell £5.1m to £6.6m in 2018, with net profits dropping from £6m in 2017 to £3.2m in 2018.
But it said this drop was in line with its budgets and expectations with its ‘strategic objective’ being maximising returns to members.
First Milk chief executive, Shelagh Hancock, said it showed First Milk was consistently delivering a stable financial performance and making solid progress on strengthening and growing the business.
“Critically, we have done this whilst putting our farmer members back at the heart of the business and, most importantly, delivering improved returns to our members,” she said.
She added First Milk was well-placed for future growth, with its focus on driving profitable growth across the cheese and fresh milk businesses.
“We have embarked on significant capital investment at our sites to support the growing demand from our customers, enabling our members to increase milk production with confidence.
“Through the implementation of this growth strategy in the years ahead we will deliver prosperity for our members.”