Irish dairy group Ornua has posted a 0.6% increase in turnover in the year to 29 December 2018.
The group, which owns the Kerrygold brand, reported turnover of €2.08 billion in 2018, compared to €2.06 billion in 2017.
Its EBITDA increased to €60.5 million, up 12.5% on 2017, while its operating profit increased by 14.8%, to €40.4 million.
Ornua reported that its performance was achieved during ‘a period of significant and sustained investment across its facilities and brand portfolio’.
“This strong performance was achieved against a challenging global environment characterised by highly volatile butter prices, drought conditions in Europe, economic uncertainty due to Brexit, and global trade wars,” said John Jordan, CEO of Ornua.
“The strength and impressive growth of Kerrygold allowed Ornua to pay a product brand premium of €18 million to our members for Kerrygold product,” added Jordan.
“Following decades of investment in the Kerrygold brand by our members and Irish farmers, our focus is on protecting this premium positioning and delivering on our strategy to extend Kerrygold from a world-class butter brand into a world-renowned dairy brand,” he furthered.
The Kerrygold brand had an excellent year, according to the group, as a combination of ‘top-quality milk, state-of-the-art member production facilities and a well-invested brand’ secured ‘phenomenal’ growth in key strategic markets.
The brand accelerated growth in the German market, where it is already the fastest-selling product in the food and drink market, and enjoyed 25% volume growth in the US, where it is the number-two butter brand nationally.
The group reported that it has developed sales channels across a diverse range of markets, hoping to minimise the potential impacts of any Brexit deal.
Jordan said that the group’s key focus for 2019 is to drive growth across its brand portfolio and food ingredients business.
The group reported that the UK remains ‘a key strategic market’, adding that any change in the status quo will create competitive challenges for Irish dairy exports.
It reported that it was committed to delivering value to its members and will look to capitalise on ‘decades of investment’ in the brand in its established markets, including Germany, the UK, and the US.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.