Innovation fuels 20% sales growth at NI agri-tech firm

Northern Ireland agri-tech and nutrition firm Devenish has seen its group turnover rise by 20% up to £225 million over the last financial year.

The company’s latest consolidated financial statements for the year ended May 31, 2018, also showed a rise in operating profit – up from £2.8 million to £3.6 million.

After interest, profit before tax was up by 9%, reaching £1.7 million.

Established in 1952, Devenish has manufacturing sites across Ireland, the UK, the USA, Turkey and Uganda, and employs more than 500 people worldwide.

The company trades in more than 40 countries, specialising in optimising nutrients across the food chain to proactively improve food quality, human health and the environment.

Commenting on the results, Devenish chief executive Richard Kennedy said: “2017-2018 marked a significant year of growth for Devenish.

“These results reflect our strategy of building a growth organisation through continued reinvestment into researching, developing and commercialising animal nutrition solutions that address the challenges facing farmers and food producers today.

Our research and development investment is targeted at health, food and the promotion of sustainable farming, creating a pipeline of solutions that differentiates us in the marketplace.

It’s been a big year for the firm. In 2017, Devenish acquired a 50% stake in a Turkish nutrition business Yem-Vit.

The deal allowed the group to manufacture goods closer to some of its key export markets. The move is also expected to drive future growth.

Devenish also reached a significant milestone in August 2018 when the firm completed a refinancing of its business through a long-term funding package that will underwrite its research and development programme and support growth across the group.

The package included a pioneering facility of €40 million – the largest ever support for agri-business in Ireland by the European Investment Bank.