Glanbia Ireland saw a slight decrease in revenue for 2020, but noted that a “solid” performance had been delivered last year in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic and its global impact.

In a statement this week, Glanbia Ireland noted that revenue for 2020 stood at €1.9 billion, down 2.9%.

Of this, a 2.1% drop was caused by volume decline with the balance due to modest price deflation over the period.

The company reported profit after tax of €61 million.

There was a sales decline in the agribusiness side of the business, which was attributed to very favourable weather conditions, leading to good grass growth and a consequent reduction in demand for both feed and fertiliser.

The domestic foodservice element of the consumer business was significantly affected by the three lockdowns during much of 2020, but was cushioned by higher retail demand as customers really turned to tried and trusted brands, including Avonmore, the company said.

Milk volumes in 2020 increased by 4.9% on a like-for-like basis and the group paid over €1.083 billion to milk suppliers, an increase of 3.8% on 2019.

The milk price paid by the group for the year was an average of 35c/L, inclusive of VAT.

Commenting, Glanbia Ireland CEO Jim Bergin said:

“Covid-19 significantly added to our operational challenges in 2020 but the speed at which management acted and adapted to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all was exemplary.

“Our foresight in planning for Brexit means that, bar some minor logistics difficulties, the impact has been relatively minor to date.

“Investment in our digital platforms paid dividends. These include our fresh doorstep delivery business,, and our agri and gardening input business, Glanbia Connect.

“Our new business-to-business ingredients trading platform, Glanbia Direct, recorded significant growth.

“We have rallied in the face of adverse global as well as domestic conditions, with substantial growth in sales of UHT milk and cream into Southeast Asia.

“The Truly Grass Fed brand continues to be well-received in the US marketplace with good momentum building as distribution grows,” Bergin added.

“Keeping milk on the shelves throughout the past year has been exceptionally challenging and tremendous credit goes to everyone who played their part,” the CEO concluded.