Kerrygold owner Ornua, Ireland’s largest exporter of dairy products has reported higher revenues and operating profits for 2018 on the back of a “standout” year for its butter brand. The exporter recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of €60.5m for 2018. This represents a 12% increase on 2017.
Ornua said that it’s revenue rose by 0.6% to €2.082 billion while operating profits increased by 14.8% to €35.2m.
Ornua exports to over 110 countries around the world and it sold a total of 3.4 billion litres of milk equivalent during the year.
Kerrygold is currently the second largest butter brand in the United States with 2.6 million packets of butter sold each week. Kerrygold was also reported to be the fastest selling product of all food and drink brands in the German retail market.
At the end of the year 2018, Ornua paid an end of year bonus of €19m to its co-op members. A 27% increase on 2017.
Ornua described the increase in earnings and profit as “period of significant and sustained investment” across its facilities and brand portfolio.
The group have said that they have been preparing for the potential impact of Brexit for the last two years. They mentioned that planning for an event where the end result is still unclear has been a “significant challenge”.
The United Kingdom remains a key market for Ornua and any change will create competitive challenges for Irish dairy exports.
Representatives from Ornua said “Ornua has developed sales channels across a diverse range of markets and will continue to invest to minimise the potential impacts of any Brexit deal”.
Chief Executive, John Jordan said the exporter’s strong trading performance in 2018 came despite a challenging global environment characterised by highly volatile butter prices and economic uncertainty due to Brexit and global trade wars.
“Our key focus for 2019 is to drive growth for our full brand portfolio and food ingredients businesses across our 110 markets and to continue to deliver walue for the 14,000 dairy farmers we represent,” John Jordan added.
source: RTE News