Irish owned agribusiness, ClonBio Group has announced record profits after tax for the year ended December 31, 2020 of €96 million.
The group also announced the appointment of Richie Boucher as chairman, as it progresses a €200 million, three-year investment programme into a variety of bio-based products, led by alternative protein concentrates for use in human and animal nutrition.
For the fourth successive year, the group materially increased its rolling capital expenditure programme. €66 million was invested in 2020 in the first tranche of its current three-year (2020-2022) investment strategy.
The 2020 outturn marked a marginal increase on 2019 profit after tax, despite the significant disruptive impact of Covid-19 and more challenging prior year following a 143% increase in profitability in 2019.
Turnover was steady at €360 million, with sales into 35 countries.
The group’s primary operation is Pannonia Bio Zrt, a wholly owned Hungarian subsidiary that manufactures sustainable bioproducts from grain produced by local farmers.
These include high value GMO-free proteins (for animal and human nutrition) as well as bioethanol / alcohol, used in an increasing range of industrial applications, in hand sanitisers and as a green biofuel.
Group employment increased by 50 to 300 staff, marking the fifth consecutive year of 20% growth that has seen a doubling of headcount since 2015, according to the company.
This includes a team of engineers and research and development professionals developing new product opportunities including soluble and insoluble protein concentrates and fibre-derived products, with significant application in the high-value nutrition, healthcare, agriculture and energy areas.
Mark Turley, founder and chief executive of ClonBio said: “During 2020, ClonBio successfully and profitably navigated the challenging impacts of Covid-19 to maintain essential supplies and employment, whilst continuing to innovate for future growth.
“We are enormously grateful to our staff for their effort and commitment in meeting customer requirements and also in supporting the international fight against the pandemic, as we diverted ethanol production for use in hand sanitisers over several key months.
“Given our focus on growing ClonBio into a leader in the production of sustainable bio-based products, I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Richie Boucher as chairman,” he added.
Chairman, Richie Boucher, said: “ClonBio is significantly ahead of the curve in tapping into sustainability solutions that align with consumer and corporate preferences for bio-based and circular economy solutions.
“I am hugely excited by its green credentials, its standout commercial prospects and the tremendous capacity of its strong R&D team to develop cleaner, greener, safer solutions.
“The range of potential applications and new product development opportunities across, nutrition, healthcare, agriculture and energy is immense.”
ClonBio’s largest asset is a grain biorefinery, the largest of its kind in Europe.
Located in Hungary on the banks of the Danube, it manufactures sustainable bioproducts from grain produced by local farmers.
In 2020, Pannonia processed over 1 million tonnes of locally-grown corn into more than a half billion litres of ethanol, more than 350,000t of GMO-free high-protein animal feed and more than 10,000t of corn oil.
Over the past two years, Pannonia has also invested in multiple solar projects in Hungary with these now providing a combined capacity of 35MWp.