According to The Irish Times, pretax profits at the company behind chicken processor Manor Farm fell by 90% in 2021, as the business dealt with several significant issues.
Inflation, Covid-19 measures affecting staff and costs, and avian flu have all been scapegoated as possible reasons for the fall in profits.
Manor Farm Suffering From 'Exacerbated' Costs
Both soaring chicken feed and energy prices have contributed to last year’s drop-off, according to new accounts filed by Carton Bros Unlimited, which was sold for €70 million in 2017 to Swedish group Scandi Standard by brothers Vincent and Justin Carton.
According to the accounts, “Cost increases became exacerbated towards year-end and into the new year, particularly feed and power as well as wage demands.”
Turnover at Carton Bros declined by €7.3 million last year, from more than €200 million in 2020 to just under €194 million while its sales costs climbed by more than €5.3 million to €177 million in 2021.
Operating expenses at the business, which include its distribution and administrative costs, also rose by €3.1 million.
Manor Farm, which is the largest chicken processor in Ireland, saw the price of animal feed rise massively last year due to increased demand for cereals, global supply chain bottlenecks, and growing energy costs.
Prices were expected to increase again this year before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which puts the supply of grain from the region at risk.
Covid-19 impacted production in 2021, the company noted in the accounts, giving rise to “disruption and additional costs in the business and to its customers”.
Production was also disrupted by an outbreak of avian flu in November and December of 2021 near the plant in Shercock, Co Cavan.
“Although none of Manor Farm’s suppliers were impacted, it did cause disruption and limitations around production and export volumes for a period of time,” according to the accounts.
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