Ornua reports strong financial year, despite dip in profits

Ornua Foods UK has reported a solid financial performance for the year ended 29 December 2018, despite the highly challenging and volatile market environment. The company’s strategy focussed on driving continuous improvement, delivering category expertise and support to customers, building a strong own-label and branded product portfolio and optimising experience in dairy commodities.

The company saw a pre-tax profit of £6.8 million in 2018, down on 2017’s result of £7.1 million. This drop was reportedly due to less favourable market conditions for traded commodities, but was largely offset by a strong underlying performance in the core business. This was driven by a better customer mix, branded sales and an ongoing focus on rigorous cost control and efficiencies. The company’s sales volumes remained stable with sales increasing to £322 million, up from £319 million in 2017. The full effect of a number of important new business wins and capital investment programmes undertaken in 2018 is expected to be reflected in future years.

The company had net assets of £31.8 million in 2018, up from £25.0 million in 2017, at the balance sheet date.

During 2018, the company made further investment in industry leading cheese cutting & packing technology and energy reduction projects. In addition, the business continued to invest heavily in multi-channel marketing campaigns for both its Pilgrims Choice and Kerrygold brands.

Bill Hunter, managing director of Ornua Foods UK said: “Our solid financial performance reflects our focus on delivering for our major UK retail customers consistent quality, customer service excellence, innovative ways of working and a strong own-label and branded product portfolio.

“In the current financial year we are seeing the positive effect of a number of important new business wins secured in 2018. This, combined with an ongoing commitment to investing in our production capabilities and delivering high profile marketing support for our Pilgrims Choice and Kerrygold brands, is, I believe, creating a strong platform for future growth and development.”

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