By Gordon Deegan
Increased investment costs weighed last year on the profits of Glenisk, the country’s largest Irish-owned yoghurt maker.
Profits more than halved to €347,864, as revenues dipped slightly to €21.76m.
The firm, which is led by former RTÉ Secret Millionaire Vincent Cleary, produces 100 million yoghurts a year.
Sales in Ireland increased to over €21m from €20.8m in the previous year but sales in the UK fell by almost a third to around €700,000 because of the Brexit-related fall in sterling.
The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €424,262.
The business last year increased its advertising spend from €1.2m to €1.5m, while its spend on trade promotions increased from €2m to €2.28m.
Staff costs increased 9% to €3.37m.
The company employs 75 people.
A spokeswoman for Glenisk said: “2017 was a solid year for Glenisk in terms of revenue but we faced significant challenges in terms of profitability.”
She said: “This was largely due to increased investment in our raw materials — increasing the premiums paid to our farmers and fruit suppliers and in research and development to bring new products to the market.”
Brexit had affected sales in the UK amid “heavy discounting” by rivals, the company said. Directors pay last year increased from €674,584 to €912,883.
Revenues will increase but profitability is expected to match 2017 levels, the spokeswoman said, as the firm expands in continental Europe.