Carr’s Milling has continued to trade ahead of expectations since its interim results, largely driven by its agricultural and engineering operations.

The group said it had seen a strong financial performance for the 19 weeks since its half-year end in February. This was ahead of market expectations and should result in profitability for the full year well above last year’s underlying result, it added.

In an interim management statement, Carr’s said that its food division had continued to operate in a difficult market. It said: "We successfully implemented cost reduction initiatives to address, in part, the negative impact on margins from weaker consumer demand and continuing over-capacity in the market."

In May, net debt was £18.5m, down £5.4m on £23.9m a year earlier. As a result, analyst Investec Securities upgraded its pre-tax profit estimate to £8.65m for the full year, up on the £7m Carr’s Milling made last year.