Operating profits have increased by 69% at Ornua, the largest buyer of Irish dairy products.
Group turnover was €2.3bn, according to its financial report for 2020, announced today.
Ornua exports to over 110 countries and owns the Kerrygold brand which experienced 13% volume growth in 2020, selling over 10m packets of butter and cheese a week.
In 2020, Ornua purchased over 366,000m tonnes of Irish dairy products valued in excess of €1bn.
“Ornua had a unique performance in a unique year, and we are pleased to report a record profit,” John Jordan, CEO Ornua said.
“The strong fundamentals of our business, great people and great products, came to the fore, allowing us to maximise the opportunity presented with the change in consumer behaviour and doubling down on driving profitable value growth against the backdrop of the global pandemic.
“This performance delivers on our commitment to maximise returns to our member co-operatives and the 14,000 farmers who supply them.”
Mr Jordan says there is cautious optimism for the months ahead.
“Looking ahead, we are cautiously optimistic about the gradual re-opening of economies as the global vaccine rollout gathers pace,” he added.
“We have clarity on Brexit, and we welcome strong signals from the US on improved US-EU trade relations.
"This, coupled with Ornua’s clear and ambitious new five-year strategy focussed on driving profitable growth in priority global markets, will ensure we continue to deliver value for the 14,000 Irish farming families we represent.”
Meanwhile, milk price announcements over the past week included Dairygold Co-op increasing its March milk price by 0.5 c per litre to 34.5c, based on standard 3.3% protein and 3.6% butterfat constituents, including bonuses and VAT.
In addition, the March early calving bonus of 1cpl will be paid.
Based on average March milk solids achieved by Dairygold milk suppliers, they will be paid an average farm gate milk price of 39.1cpl.
According to a spokesperson for the Co-op, global milk supply and dairy demand remain reasonably balanced.
Some dairy commodities such as butter, have experienced fluctuation in prices over the past few weeks, but overall, dairy markets are reasonably stable as we head into peak milk production.
The price for March works out at 37.7c (excluding early calving bonus) based on EU standard 3.4% protein and 4.2% butterfat constituents.
Carbery Group added 1c to its milk price for March, for an average price of 34.6c, including VAT, and said stability in global milk markets is supporting the price.
Arrabawn and Kerry have announced 1c increases.
The Glanbia price fell from 36.1c in February to 34.6c in March, with the base price rising 1.5c but a seasonality bonus of 3c ending.
Tuesday’s Global Dairy Trade price fell 0.1%, but sources in New Zealand reacted with forecasts that global dairy prices will remain strong due to very strong global demand, higher grain prices, environmental constraints, and competition for land and water.