Turnover hits €39.21m at North Cork Co-op as profits also rise

NORTH Cork Co-op enjoyed a healthy increase in profit for 2010, with gains in production, sales and profitability on a turnover of €39.21 million.

The annual report and accounts issued by the company yesterday showed that the society experienced a very successful trading year compared to recent years. Turnover increased from €24.96m to €39.21m.

Profit before tax was €683,000, while operating profit was €672,000.

North Cork Co-op chairman John Ahern told shareholders at the society’s AGM that production increased by 49%, with 63.7m litres of milk processed, up from 42.7m litres in 2009. Overhead expenses increased by €613,000 to €4.88m.

Mr Ahern said: “While energy costs were high, increased output and efficient processing helped to improve overall performance. Our society continued to support its members by paying an average milk price of 30.44c per litre, including VAT, which represents one of the best prices for milk in the country.

“In line with our policy of rewarding customer loyalty, bonus shares were again issued to shareholders who purchased feed and fertilisers from the society.

“We are most grateful for the support received from our suppliers, shareholders and customers and ask them to continue it in the future.”

General manager Sean McAuliffe told the AGM that the society had again increased processing capacity as part of their ongoing development programme.

“This year saw the installation of a new separation line, coupled with an improved and faster milk intake unit, to cater for an expected increase in milk supplies in a post quota environment. We also further upgraded our casein manufacturing facility.”

Mr McAuliffe also reported that dairy markets had improved during the year, and while this was reflected across all categories, retail product prices had not reached the same level of increase as commodity products.

“Casein prices rose sharply towards year end, but by then a significant amount of milk was already processed. Butter production increased significantly, reflecting increased milk supplies and outside cream purchases,” said Mr McAuliffe.

“Retail sales also showed a welcome increase. However, liquid milk sales remain static and continue to come under severe pressure from imports and own brands in one of the most competitive and difficult market segments in the country.”

He also pointed out that the improvement in the dairy industry and the good weather helped offset some of the extra costs incurred by suppliers and processors over the past two years.

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