Lakeland Dairies has released its results for 2014, with a 15% increase in revenues to €625.8m for 2014, yielding an operating profit of €12.9m, up by 10% on the previous year.

Lakeland Dairies’ Group Chief Executive Michael Hanley said the results were “very robust”, especially set against difficult market conditions in 2014, where, he said, Lakeland Dairies also paid a competitive milk price.

“We experienced consistently strong demand across our portfolio of dairy ingredients and dairy foodservice products. This was achieved through organic growth and new business development activity in key markets including EMEA and Asia.

“Consumer sentiment has improved gradually in key markets. This benefited our foodservice customers and fed into stronger sales across the hospitality, catering and convenience market segments. There is a growing requirement for high quality milk powders and functional ingredients in nutritional, pharmaceutical and beverage markets, where we serve leading food manufacturers and infant formula customers worldwide.

Bailieboro Dryer No. 3

In 2014 Lakeland announced a planned €36m investment in ‘Bailieboro Dryer Number 3’, construction of which has now started in the current year for completion in 2016.

“Lakeland Dairies currently produces 90,000t of milk powders a year and this will rise to 130,000t on completion of the new Bailieboro Dryer Number 3. The same site also produces 24,000t of butter and butter products.

“This major dual factory presence on a single site provides total flexibility in our milk throughput, for maximum value added returns, and it contributes to overall economies of scale for our food ingredients business.”

He also said Lakeland sees a consistently growing opportunity in areas including infant formula, dairy proteins and health related nutritional products including lactose and whey, among other categories.

It currently process over 800m litres of milk annually. This will rise to over 1 billion litres annually by 2020.