First Milk releases annual report showing strong performance

First Milk has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2020, which show the co-operative continuing to strengthen its milk price, whilst delivering growth in turnover, operating profit and net assets, as well as a reduction in net debt, further reinforcing its financial stability.

Key highlights include:

  • Group turnover up 4% to £282.8m (2019: £272.3m)
  • Operating profit up 4% to £7.5m (2019: £7.2m)
  • Net debt down 20% to £33.1m (2019: £41.1m)
  • Net assets up 25% to £39.8m (2019: £31.8m)
  • Relative milk price continuing to improve for farmer owners
  • First member premium paid out post year-end
  • First4Milk Pledge launched
  • 11% reduction in CO2e emissions year on year
  • New share trading platform trades more than 3m shares
  • Re-financing completed with Wells Fargo, extending lending facilities to July 2024 demonstrating financial stability of First Milk
  • Post year-end acquisition of Lake District Biogas completed

Commenting on the results, chief executive, Shelagh Hancock, said: “The year ending 31 March 2020 saw us deliver business growth and development, further strengthening our financial position, whilst continuing to return value to our farmer members, who own the business. We have also launched our First4Milk Pledge – a broad commitment to sustainable dairy and a celebration of the leading standards on our members’ farms.

“Despite the uncertainties around the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and with Brexit looming, First Milk is well-placed for the future, as a business that has strong collaborative partnerships and the scale to be relevant in the marketplace, whilst remaining agile and adaptable. Our vision for the future remains resolute – we are working together to deliver dairy prosperity.”

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