Growth at Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s leading dairy processor
Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s largest dairy processor, has reported a 16 percent rise in its pre–tax profits to almost £8million.
The company, which is headquartered in Belfast and has processing plants in countries Antrim and Tyrone as well as in England and Scotland, says the
“solid” results came in a “year of two halves”.
It produces some of the region’s best known and most successful dairy products including Dale Farm milk and ice cream, Dromona butter and cheese Fivemiletown speciality cheese, Spelga Yogurt and Mullins Ice Cream. It is also a major exporter of milk powder.
The business under chief executive Nick Whelan saw overall group turnover increase by 5.1 percent to £389 million for the year ending March 2017.
Mr Whelan, group chief executive of Dale Farm, the processing and marketing arm of United Dairy Farmers, the region’s largest dairy farmers’ co–operative, adds: “For the second year running, Dale Farm has delivered a solid financial performance, despite it having been a year of two halves.
“We witnessed a 12 percent increase in consumer sales, driven by innovation in product development across our dairy portfolio of butter, ice cream, cheddar cheese, liquid milk, yoghurt and fresh desserts.
“The recovery in global dairy markets in the second half of the year, combined with Dale Farm’s significant cost reduction plan,
enabled us to pay a leading milk price to our farmer members in Northern Ireland and across Great Britain.”
“A strategic focus for our business is the development of whey solutions, allowing us to respond to the growing domestic and international trend in protein based products.”
Its feed business, United Feeds, delivered a
“satisfactory performance” despite a “challenging environment for farmers throughout the year”.
Dale Farm is Northern Ireland’s largest dairy business. The group manufactures dairy products including cheeses, butter, milk powders, fresh milk, ice cream, yoghurt and desserts, which it sells to over 40
countries worldwide. It employs almost 1,100 staff across its sites.