Dairygold, Ireland’s largest farmer owned dairy cooperative, has reported another solid financial performance for 2016, against a backdrop of very weak returns from international dairy markets, especially in the first half of the year.
Dairygold recorded turnover of €756.1m (2015: €784.9m), delivering an EBITDA of €39.0m (2015: €41.2m). The farmer-owned cooperative achieved an operating profit of €17.5m, (2015: €19.2m), while increasing milk price support to its members to circa €25m, up from €20m in 2015. At year end the net asset value of the business was €307.6m (2015: €315.5m), while bank debt was reduced by €7.5m to a prudent €88.7m. Dairygold continued its ambitious capital programme during the year, investing a further €15m in the business, bringing the total investment over the past six years to €200m. This investment established a state of the art sustainable milk processing platform, across dairy sites at Mallow and Mitchelstown.  The investment has increased processing capacity by 55% enabling farmer members to fulfil their on-farm growth ambition but more importantly the business can now leverage its investments in infrastructure to avail of value added commercial opportunities. Dairygold also strengthened its track record in building strong commercial partnerships with global food companies with the announcement of the planned development of the new Jarlsberg® Cheese production facility in partnership with Norway’s largest dairy processor Tine SA.  This will quadruple the current Jarlsberg® Cheese production in Mogeely.
Speaking about the Mogeely investment, Dairygold Chief Executive, Jim Woulfe said: “Our commercial partner-ships with global food companies have been an avenue to significant value add for the business. We will continue to seek out strategic partnerships with leading global organisations that can leverage our best in class processing facilities to deliver more value added production for the business.”