First Milk, the farmer-owned dairy co-op in Britain, has revealed an 8% increase in operating profit to £8.1m (€9.34m) profit for the year ending March 2021 compared with the previous year.

Turnover also increased, up 6% to £299.5m (€345.4m).

Members received a price premium of 0.5p/l compared with 0.25p/l the previous year. Capital expenditure for the year was £7.8m (€9m) and planned capital expenditure for the present year is £14.4m (€16.6m).

The co-op is headquartered in Glasgow but has closed its Campbelltown and Arran creameries in Scotland in recent years, leaving the Lake District Creamery in the northwest of England and the Haverfordwest creamery in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

It also completed the acquisition of Lake District biogas at the beginning of the year.

Shelagh Hancock, chief executive, highlighted COVID-19 and Brexit as the challenges of the year and noted that its customer profile meant it was able to withstand COVID-19 disruption and despite the administrative burden of Brexit, continued to grow the export cheese business with customers in 26 different countries.