Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s biggest dairy co-op, has reported what it describes as a ‘resilient’ performance in a challenging environment for the financial year ending March 2021.
The co-operative, has reported growth for 2020/21, with turnover up £19 million to £524 million.
Group operating profit was reported at £14 million, with the previous year being £12.2 million.
Dale Farm Group chief executive Nick Whelan said the breadth of sales channels allowed the co-op to benefit from an uplift in retail sales volumes in 2020/21.
This came despite a decline in foodservice sales volumes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Whelan added: “I am pleased to report another solid year of results for Dale Farm for 2020/21, achieved despite some challenges during the year, not least the pandemic.
“Additional operating costs were incurred during the year due to Covid-19, however despite these headwinds we achieved a solid set of financial results.
“It is also important to acknowledge the exceptional dedication of our people across the business who delivered a resilient performance.”
Mr Whelan said that despite challenges, Dale Farm continued to maximise the return on its farmers’ milk supply ‘through successful innovation, value added sales streams, proactive margin improvement and continuous cost control’.
“All of which will stand us in good stead and enable us to pay a market competitive milk price as we move forward,” he added.
Looking ahead, he said the business improvements achieved during 2020/21 allowed them to ‘look with confidence into 2021/22 and beyond’.
“As always, continuous investment in our plant and people, and maximising profitability whilst paying a market competitive milk price will be at the heart of our strategy,” Mr Whelan said.