Lakeland reports disappointing 2001

Dairy co-operative Lakeland Dairies has blamed foot and mouth disease for its 26% slide in pre-tax profit in 2001.

The company saw turnover down from E219.9 million in 2000 to E217.8 million in 2001.

In a statement, the company said that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Northern Ireland and the Cooley Peninsula made collecting and processing milk difficult.

Costs of collecting milk soared, and processing operations were checked stringently by the Department of Agriculture, further adding to costs.

However, Lakeland said that it saw a good first half to the year and that its balance sheet remained strong. It added that its recent acquisitions, including the Bailieboro processing plant from Kerry Group and a plant at Omagh from Nestle, would help it towards a strong 2002.

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