Kerrygold's pre-tax profits plummeted 61% in the year to 3 January 2009, according to the latest accounts filed at Companies House.

Pre-tax profits fell from £4.4m to £1.7m during the period. Turnover, however, rose from £211m to £253.4m, and gross profit and net margin also increased.

The company reduced the amount owed to it by debtors from £36m to ­under £21m, but its pension liabilities increased to £5m.

Profits had been hit by a combination of depreciating assets and a refinancing arrangement between Kerrygold and its parent company in preparation for a £30m outlay on a new ­facility, said ­managing director Carl Ravenhall.

The 2009 figures would reflect a much stronger period of trading this year, he added. In April, the company launched its Kerrygold Lighter Softer Reduced Salt Spreadable variant.