However, the society, operating in the Connacht countries and Donegal, said the balance sheet remains strong, with shareholders funds of €38m and net debt reduced by some €4m to €11.1m. It said an adjustment has been made to the prior year’s result, reflecting a worsened outcome from the Carbury mushroom business prior to its merger with Monaghan Mushrooms.
Chief executive Aaron Forde said the co-op turned in a good performance at operating profit level while improving milk price and putting some foundations in place for the future.
Chairman Pádraig Gibbons said the objectives set out were all addressed and measures taken to realise savings, take costs out and improve operating performance.
The liquid milk business continued to face a significant threat from imports, which had raw material and processing cost advantages, and these issues had to be addressed by the society and others, he said.
Connacht Gold reported that on a similar milk volume to the previous year, turnover rose to €116m, reflecting a better product mix.
It said the benefits of integrating all manufacturing milk activities at Ballaghadereen are expected to show in 2005. The conclusion of discussions with Glanbia on co-processing was a significant achievement and more progress in should occur in 2005.