Lakeland Dairies has reported strong financial results having ended 2017 with an operating profit of €16.6m.
This is more than double 2016's profit of €7.2m and can be attricuted to the group's annual revenues increasing by 28% to almost €770m.
Lakeland said its profit before tax was €15.9m last year and the co-operative closed 2017 with a 15% increase in shareholders’ funds at €117.6m.
It reports that milk volumes processed in 2017 increased to over 1.2 billion litres, reflecting ongoing expansion among Lakeland Dairies’ 2,500 milk producers and a full year of milk supply from Fane Valley Dairies, which was acquired in May 2016.
It operates across 15 counties on a cross-border basis, processing milk into a wide range of value-added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients. Lakeland has a portfolio of 240 different dairy products which it exports to 80 countries worldwide.
Lakeland reported revenue increases across each of its sectors last year.
Food Ingredients revenues increased by 32% to more than €468m in 2017, while its Foodservice Division increased by 23% to almost €240m Agribusiness revenues increased by 16% to almost €62m.
Michael Hanley, Group Chief Executive, said:
“Our global growth has been driven by our strategy, investments, product range and the high quality output of our milk producers.
"While there are challenges in the global market, it is our intention to continue to drive competitiveness and overall growth, targeting opportunities across infant formulas, dairy proteins and health-related nutritional products.
“With the investments we have made, we are now in a position to process more milk than ever before.
Our five year strategic plan envisages Lakeland Dairies achieving sustainable, profitable annual revenues of over €1bn by 2021.