Boss praises farmers’ resilience as Dale Farm delivers strong results
Business Editor Gary McDonald
July 01, 2021 01:00
DAIRY Dale Farm Co-operative increased its turnover and operating profit in what CEO Nick Whelan called “resilient performance in a tough Covid environment”.
Its latest account shows the group generated £ 524million from dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and yogurt in the year through March, up from £ 505million in 2019.
Group operating profit fell from £ 12.2m to £ 14m, but after one-off items it was £ 9.9m, down from the previous year. EBITDA increased from £ 19.3 million to £ 20.8 million. Its capital expenditure was over £ 6million.
The results come at a pivotal time for the Dale Farm business as it enters new markets.
Last month it signed a new deal with Danish giant Arla Foods to provide it with whey protein concentrate for use in infant formula and consumer health ingredients, which will add value to the business. for its 13,000 farmer-owners.
Earlier this year, it also unveiled a new branding as part of an ambitious growth strategy, putting agriculture at the forefront visually, as well as incorporating the brand’s mission of “Sharing the Benefits Every Day” , noting that by choosing the benefits of Dale Farm dairy products, consumers are taking turns supporting local farmers.
Its corporate identity has also been redesigned to align with the new look, using the slogan “Your Dairy Co-operative” to emphasize the role of its farm owners.
Mr. Whelan said, “The breadth of our sales channels has allowed us to benefit from increased retail sales volumes in 2020/21 despite declining foodservice sales volumes due to the pandemic.
“Additional operating costs were incurred during the year due to Covid-19, but despite these headwinds, we achieved strong financial results.
“It is also important to recognize the exceptional dedication of our employees across the company who have provided resilient performance. “
He added, “Despite the challenges of 2020/21, we continued to focus on maximizing return on our members’ milk supply through successful innovation, value-added sales flows, proactive improvement. margins and continuous cost control, which will keep us in good stead and allow us to pay a competitive price for milk in the market as we move forward.
Looking ahead, he said: “The business improvements achieved in 2020/21 and the continued engagement of our employees allow us to confidently look to 2021/22 and beyond.
“As always, the continued investment in our plant and our people, and maximizing profitability while paying a competitive price for milk in the market will be at the heart of our strategy.”