Irish dairy firm Ornua has reported revenue of €2.07 billion in 2017, marking growth of 18% year on year, boosted by sales of its Kerrygold brand.
The company, which is the largest exporter of Irish dairy products, saw EBITA grow by 25%, to €53.8 million, while operating profit rose by 32%, to 35.2 million.
"2017 was a year of significant growth for Ornua, with an excellent financial performance, as we successfully delivered year one of our new five-year growth plan," said Kevin Lane, CEO.
"Product innovation continued at pace and allowed us to unlock new routes to market to ultimately drive value for our members – Ireland’s dairy processors and Irish farmers," Lane added.
Ornua says that 2017 was a record year for the Kerrygold brand in its key markets of Germany and the US, with double-digit volume growth.
The company introduced 34 new products into its brand portfolio, including a new Kerrygold shredded-cheese range in Germany.
It says that these launches are part of a group strategy to extend the Kerrygold brand from a "well-known butter brand into a €1 billion global dairy brand" in the coming years.
Elsewhere, the Ornua Ingredients business delivered record purchase volumes in 2017 and continued to grow its routes to market for Irish dairy products.
In the UK, Ornua acquired and integrated FJ Need (Foods) into its operations and expanded the business's production capabilities, while in Germany, Ornua Deutschland expanded its production facility at Neukirchen-Vluyn.
Looking ahead, Ornua says that it is reviewing a range of strategic measures to help minimise any potential negative impact from Brexit.
The group also plans to capitalise on its established market-leading positions in markets such as the US and Germany, and to accelerate its development in key emerging markets such as Africa, China, Europe and the Middle East.
"A major emphasis on building scale and capability within our core business last year, coupled with the integration of recent acquisitions, leaves us well placed to drive further growth across our group," said Lane.
He added that despite market conditions and Brexit uncertainties, the group remains on track to deliver revenues of €3 billion by 2021.
In December, Ornua signed a €610 million syndicated bank facility, which, the company says, will be used to drive dairy industry growth in the future.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.