Irish dairy company Ornua has reported 0.9% growth in turnover to €2.3 billion, in its financial year ended 26 December 2020.
Group EBITDA grew by 49.6% to €107.4 million while operating profit increase 69.2% to €83.1 million.
The company said that it achieved these results against the backdrop of a complex trading environment dominated by COVID-19, market volatility, and the macro-economic challenges of Brexit and punitive US tariffs.
Ornua operates in over 110 countries and owns the €1 billion Kerrygold brand, which experienced 13% volume growth in 2020, selling over 10 million packets of butter and cheese a week.
Kerrygold emerged as the preferred dairy brand for 10% of consumers in the US, establishing it as the number 2 butter brand.
In Germany, Kerrygold butter continues to be the fastest-selling brand on supermarket shelves, with brand strength supporting the launch of additional cheddar products in 2020.
John Jordan, CEO of Ornua, commented, "The strong fundamentals of our business – great people and great products – came to the fore allowing us to maximise the opportunity presented with the change in consumer behaviour, doubling down on driving profitable value growth against the backdrop of the global pandemic."
In 2020, Ornua purchased over 366,000 metric tonnes of Irish dairy products, valued at more than €1 billion, reaffirming its position as the largest buyer of Irish dairy products globally.
Dairy markets proved resilient throughout the pandemic, aided by retail sales and strong demand for milk powders from China, Southeast Asia, and Africa.
Product balance within commodity markets supported milk price stability, with Irish milk price averaging above 30 cents per litre.
The global milk output is expected to continue to grow in 2021 at a projected rate of +1.3%.
Elsewhere, the group saw a 25% decrease in absolute emissions and a 38% decrease in carbon intensity per tonne of product since 2016, demonstrating its commitment to sustainability.
Commenting on the company's outlook, Jordan said, "Looking ahead, we are cautiously optimistic about the gradual re-opening of economies as the global vaccine rollout gathers pace; we have clarity on Brexit, and we welcome strong signals from the US on improved US/EU trade relations.
"This, coupled with Ornua's clear and ambitious new 5-year strategy focussed on driving profitable growth in priority global markets, will ensure we continue to deliver value for the 14,000 Irish farming families we represent."