Lakeland Dairies’ revenue hits €1 billion for the first time

Cross-border dairy co-operative Lakeland Dairies has reported that its revenue hit €1 billion for the first time in 2019.

The group has published its 2019 annual report, which it notes is the first since the merger of Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick Dairies last year.

According to the report, Lakeland Dairies has doubled group revenues in the past five years.

‘Record revenues’ of €1.03 billion

Last year, it recorded that it achieved “record revenues” of €1.03 billion across its four operating divisions: Food Ingredients; Foodservice; Consumer Foods; and Agribusiness.

Group revenues increased by 27.7%; €224.6 million on the prior year’s figure of €810.5 million. This yielded an operating profit of €20.5 million, up by €2.97 million (16.9%) and earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of €42.9 million, which increased by €9.3 million.

The group said it concluded the year with a “significantly enhanced balance sheet”, including shareholders’ funds of €197.2 million.

The Food Ingredients division revenues increased by 19% to €583.8 million, based on “overall positive trading conditions”.

The Foodservice division delivered revenues of €239 million, while the Consumer Foods division delivered a “solid performance in 2019 in line with expectations”, yielding revenues of €139.7 million for the year.

2019 was also a “successful” year for the Agribusiness division, where revenues of €72.4 million were in line with budget expectations, according to the group. It added that feed volumes of over 210,000t and fertiliser volume of over 27,000t were achieved.

‘Considerable challenges ahead’

Lakeland Dairies chief executive Michael Hanley said that while he is “happy with the 2019 performance”, there are “considerable challenges ahead”.

“As a business, we’re pleased to report this strong and prudent set of accounts. This is a positive outcome for 2019.

“This has been done while leveraging from additional revenue streams and the overall synergies achieved by the merger of Lakeland Dairies and LacPatrick Dairies.

“There are considerable challenges ahead, however.

The ongoing market disruption caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic has put a significant drag on markets, particularly in the food-service sector. A lack of clarity on the shape of the trading relationship between the EU and the UK post-Brexit is of concern to us too.

“Not to mention the ongoing global dairy supply and demand dynamic which has a huge influence on international markets.”

Chairman of Lakeland Dairies Alo Duffy added that, based on the positive outcomes of 2019, the group feels it will “meet any challenges and many opportunities with an absolute and unwavering determination”.