The cross border dairy processing co-operative, Lakeland Dairies reported ‘an excellent business performance’ in 2018 with record revenues and profitability.
Revenues at the group increased by 5.3% from €769.8 million to €810.5 million, yielding an operating profit of €17.5 million, up from €16.8 million in 2017.
The group said its performance was underpinned by ‘targeted business development activity, relative stability in global dairy markets, and growth in volumes shipped’.
Lakeland finished the year with a strong balance sheet and shareholders funds of €130 million, an increase of €12.4 million for the year.
It’s Food Ingredients Division delivered revenue growth of 4.6% to €489.9 million, reflecting ‘the quality, flexibility, and reliability of its offer and general buoyancy in the end markets and food manufacturing sectors of our customers’.
It’s Foodservice Division’s revenues increased by 3% to €246.9 million in 2018, following on from an already impressive 2017, where it managed to grow sales and process record volumes of products.
It added that its performance was in spite of some volatility in the market.
It’s Agri-Trading Division revenues increased by 19% to €73.7 million, driven by organic growth where customers required higher volumes of feed during the year amidst early adverse weather conditions.
The group’s highlight of the year was its agreed merger with LacPatrick Dairies, which recently received all the regulatory approval to proceed.
The new Society – to be called Lakeland Dairies Co-Operative Society Limited – will be the second largest dairy processor on the island of Ireland with a cross-border milk pool of 1.8bn litres, produced by 3,200 farms across a catchment area including 16 counties.
The new co-op will have a combined annual turnover in excess of €1 billion, creating internationally competitive scale and the opportunity for greater efficiency to be achieved across the amalgamated organisation.
Despite the pending merger, the group remains apprehensive about 2019, mainly thanks to Brexit and the overall balance of global supply and demand across its product portfolio.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.