FARMERS' dairy co-op First Milk has reported turnover and profits up by four per cent in the last financial year.

The member-owned firm, whose creameries include Haverfordwest, strengthened its milk price over the year, while delivering growth in turnover, operating profit and net assets, as well as a reduction in net debt, further reinforcing its financial stability.

Key highlights include:

• Group turnover up 4 per cent to £282.8m (2019: £272.3m)

• Operating profit up 4 per cent to £7.5m (2019: £7.2m)

• Net debt down 20 per cent to £33.1m (2019: £41.1m)

• Net assets up 25 per cent to £39.8m (2019: £31.8m)

The report showed its relative milk price continued to improve for farmer-owners while its environmental First4Milk pledge was also launched and there was an 11 per cent reduction in CO2-equivalent emissions year on year.

Chief executive Shelagh Hancock, said: “The year ending March 31, 2020, saw us deliver business growth and development, further strengthening our financial position, while continuing to return value to our farmer members, who own the business.

"We have also launched our First4Milk Pledge – a broad commitment to sustainable dairy and a celebration of the leading standards on our members’ farms.

“Despite the uncertainties around the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and with Brexit looming, First Milk is well-placed for the future, as a business that has strong collaborative partnerships and the scale to be relevant in the marketplace, whilst remaining agile and adaptable.

"Our vision for the future remains resolute – we are working together to deliver dairy prosperity.”