Shares in Robert Wiseman Dairies were up in afternoon trading after the group reported a rise in turnover but a fall in profit in the half year ended 2 October.

Sales volumes were reported as being up eight per cent in the period, while turnover increased 6.8 per cent from the same period last year to £452.8 million.

However operating profit in the period declined by 2.7 per cent to £21 million and net debt fell from £26.7 million a year ago to £21.5 million.

The group said it would be holding its interim dividend at 5.75 pence per share.

During the period the company said that Tesco volumes rose by 35 million litres per annum, while sales of branded products Fresh'n'lo and "the One" rose 100 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

Billy Keane, Managing Director of Robert Wiseman Dairies, said, "The Company is well placed to handle this period of intense competition. We have the best dairy and distribution network in the industry, headroom to accommodate future volume growth, a robust balance sheet, low debt and intend to maintain dividend payments in line with last year."

By 14:20 shares in Robert Wiseman Dairies were up 1.13 per cent to 331.40 pence per share.