Dairy processor Aurivo achieved a record sales turnover in 2020 despite what was a “uniquely challenging year”.

Aurivo has announced its full-year financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The co-op hit a sales turnover of €488.7 million in 2020, an increase from €446.8 million in 2019. It delivered an operating profit (before one-off exceptionals) of €8.5 million, increased from €3.2 million in 2019.

Group earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) was €15.1 million, an increase from €8.9 million in 2019.

The closing net debt position was significantly improved at €2.2m from €18.8 million in 2019.

Aurivo businesses

Aurivo’s Consumer Foods business unit recorded a sales turnover of €96.9 million, an increase from €95.1 million the previous year.

Aurivo’s liquid milk plant in Killygordon, Co. Donegal processed 110 million litres in 2020, an increase of one million litres in 2019.

The co-op’s consumer foods milk brands are “performing well in a very competitive marketplace” – reporting an 8% increase in the retail channel.

As a ‘food-to-go’ business, My Goodness Limited (trading as For Goodness Shakes), Aurivo’s sports nutrition business, was most impacted by Covid-19.

This was due to sale volumes falling as a result of remote working and the notable reduction in footfall across London and the regional cities across the UK and Ireland.

Aurivo’s Dairy Ingredients business had a 17% uplift in turnover in 2020 to €198 million, up from €169.2 million in 2019.

While the business marked the official opening and investment of the new spray dryer in 2019, it was in 2020 that the business “reaped the benefits of the investment” with the new dryer producing 25,000t of various grades of enriched milk powder (EMP) ingredients. This investment saw Aurivo processing 35% extra milk per week.

Aurivo’s Agribusiness delivered a sales turnover of €127.9 million, an 11.2% increase on the previous year’s figure of €115 million.

Feed tonnage also delivered a strong performance with an increase in volume of 8%.

Aurivo said that difficulties already faced by the Livestock Marts business were compounded in 2020 by Covid-19, with enforced closures experienced by the industry in April 2020. It reported a turnover of €65.9 million in 2020 compared to €67.5 million in 2019.

Surging demand in retail sector

Commenting on the annual results, Donal Tierney, chief executive of Aurivo said:

“The Aurivo milk pool expanded by 5.5% in 2020 and despite initial concerns about the impact of Covid-19 and a noticeable fall in activity in the food service sector, overall demand for dairy held up well in 2020, with the decline in food service being countered by the surging demand in the retail sector.

“The Aurivo average milk price for the year was 35.61cpl compared to 34.35cpl in 2019. In addition, we established a milk stability fund of €3 million which will be paid out in future years to help our milk supply base manage market volatility.”