The AGM of farmer owned Lakeland Dairies heard that the cross-border dairy co-operative’s five year strategic plan is targeting the achievement of over £875m in ‘sustainable and profitable’ annual revenues by 2021.
The meeting was reviewing the co-operative’s annual report for 2017 which reported strong financial results. Group annual revenues increased by 33% to £683m, up from £514.6m in 2016. This yielded an operating profit of £14.9m, compared to £6.2m in 2016.
Profit before tax was £14.1m in 2017 and the co-operative closed the year with a 19.5% increase in shareholders’ funds at £104.3m, up from £87.3m the prior year.
Earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation (EBIDTA) were £28.9m, increasing significantly from £16.2m in 2016.
Milk volumes processed in 2017 increased to over 1.2 bn litres, reflecting ongoing expansion among Lakeland Dairies’ 2,500 milk producers and a full year of milk supply from Fane Valley dairy farmers (following from the acquisition of Fane Valley Dairies in May 2016).
The co-operative has also retained and fully maintained its milk powder and butter facility at Banbridge, Co. Down, which provides continuing flexibility and opportunities in relation to any potential Brexit outcomes.
Lakeland Dairies has a technologically advanced Global Logistics Centre and major dairy processing site at Newtownards, Co. Down.
The efficiencies being achieved through all operations enabled the removal of milk collection charges (cartage), with an overall reduction of costs of £4.4 million to milk suppliers annually.
Lakeland Dairies, which operates across 15 counties on a cross border basis, processing milk into a wide range of value-added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients, has a portfolio of 240 different dairy products which it exports to 80 countries worldwide.