Full opening of Carbery's €78m mozzarella plant still on track after 'slight' Covid-19 delay

Carbery has said plans for the full opening of its €78m mozzarella plant are on track despite some disruption from the Covid-19 crisis.
Full opening of Carbery's €78m mozzarella plant still on track after 'slight' Covid-19 delay
Jason Hawkins, CEO, Carbery Group. Photo: Chris Bellew /Fennell

Carbery has said plans for the full opening of its €78m mozzarella plant are on track despite some disruption from the Covid-19 crisis.

The Cork dairy and ingredients business produces a significant amount of all cheese produced in Ireland and is best known for its Dubliner Cheese brand.

The cheese plant is part of a wider €100m investment plan by the company, which is owned by the Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh, and Lisavaird co-operatives, to diversify away from traditional markets, as Britain prepared to leave the EU.

Carbery employs more than 700 people and has operations around the world, including the US, Brazil, and Thailand.

The mozzarella plant is still on track to be fully up and running after it had encountered a “slight” disruption from the fallout of the Covid-19 restrictions.

In its annual report to shareholders, the company said it was still assessing the evolving nature of the effects on its markets but added that both supply chains and markets could be disrupted, if the global health crisis was prolonged.

“Out cheese diversification project has been slightly delayed but is almost complete,” said chief executive Jason Hawkins, adding that, “like all processors, we are closely monitoring volatile dairy markets across the world”.

Carbery said: “Dairy markets had been looking to have firmed in recent months, however the spread of Covid-19 across the globe in 2020 is now causing significant uncertainty and volatility in global dairy markets.

“At this juncture it’s not possible to determine the eventual impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on global markets and supply chains.”

However, Carbery added: “It has the potential to be significant if the associated disruption to market activities and supply chains prevails for an extended period of time.”

The company also unveiled its 2019 figures which showed earnings had risen 1% to €44.3m as turnover increased by 3% to over €434m.

Carbery said the figures were reported on the basis of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation net of grants, amortisation, and exceptional items.

Operating profit before interest, tax, amortisation, and exceptional items fell 7% to €30.2m in 2019.

Its net debt at the end of last year stood at €47.2m compared with €30.1m in 2018.

Carbery has said plans for the full opening of its €78m mozzarella plant are on track despite some disruption from the Covid-19 crisis.

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