First Milk has published its annual report and accounts for the year ending March 31, 2021, and have reported "strong financial results" despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Key highlights include:

  • Group turnover up 6% to £299.5 million (2020: £282.8 million);
  • Operating profit up 8% to £8.1 million (2020: £7.5 million);
  • Net profit up 24% to £5.6 million (2020: £4.5 million);
  • Capital investment of £7.8 million in the year (2020: £5.3 million);
  • Net bank borrowings stable at £33 million (2020: £33.1 million);
  • Member Premium increased to 0.5ppl (2020: 0.25ppl);
  • Announced commitment to Net Zero 2040 and launched a leading regenerative agriculture programme
    93% of members signed First4Milk Pledge.

Commenting on the results, chief executive of First Milk, Shelagh Hancock, said:

“In what was an extraordinary year, we were able to rapidly adapt and respond positively to the challenges we faced and continued to make good progress throughout the year.

"As a result, I am pleased to report increased turnover and operating profits, significantly increased capital investment at our sites, and continued progress in generating value for our members."

First4Milk Pledge

“As a cooperative business, we are committed to working together to regenerate the earth every day to enrich life and nourish future generations," she added.

"We have seen 93% of our members voluntarily sign up to our First4Milk Pledge – a broader commitment to sustainable dairy including guaranteeing cows’ access to pasture and enhancing biodiversity.

To this end, we have progressed our sustainability agenda at pace further this year, committing to Net Zero by 2040, launching an ambitious regenerative agriculture programme with our members and embarking on a world-leading soil carbon assessment programme.

"We have also committed to our largest capital investment programme to date for the year ahead, which will see us invest £14.4 million in our sites to further improve operational capability.

"Overall, we have delivered promising progress and our vision remains clear – together, we will deliver dairy prosperity."