Kerrygold Spreadable

Kerrygold sales lifted profits at the Irish Dairy Board in 2013

Record sales and high prices helped lift profits at Kerrygold brand owner the Irish Dairy Board in 2013.

Strong sales of Kerrygold butter lifted the IDB’s turnover 5% to €2.1bn (£1.7bn) in the year ending 28 December 2013, the Irish dairy co-operative announced today.

Operating surplus (EBIT) soared 25% to €25.8m, while pre-tax profit climbed 87% to €22.8m.

“The strength of the Kerrygold brand continues to grow worldwide, achieving a retail value of over €500m in 2013,” said CEO Kevin Lane. “This reflects continuing investment, totalling €36m across brand, New Product Development and market support in the period.”

More than 350 million packets of Kerrygold were sold annually, the IDB said, and the brand is now the number-one butter in Germany and the number-one imported butter in the US.

2013 was “a dramatic year” in global dairy markets, the IDB added, with a milk scarcity pushing up prices.

In the UK, volumes at its subsidiary Adams Food rose 15% year-on-year, although high raw-material prices ate into margins, the IDB said. Volumes of Pilgrims Choice cheese rose 14%, while Kerrygold volumes rose 11%. The year also saw the launch of Kerrygold spreadable and Pilgrims Choice Sticks in the UK.

Lane also hailed the long-term strategic partnership announced between Adams Foods, and UK dairy co-operative First Milk. “The strategic partnership further strengthens Adams Foods’ position as one of the leading suppliers of Irish and British cheese to major retail and foodservice customers in the UK,” he said.

The IDB ended the year debt-free, with cash assets of €51.9m. Members’ bonuses rose 16% with a €11m payout.

Butter plant

The IDB also announced plans today to invest €30m in a butter production and packing facility in Mitchelstown, Co Cork, which will create 50 jobs.

The plant would support the IDB’s “ambitious expansion plans” following the abolition of milk quotas in 2015, it said.

“The abolition of milk quotas in 2015 will present the Irish dairy industry with its first opportunity for meaningful expansion in the past 30 years. Our strategy is to ensure that IDB members and dairy farmers are optimally positioned to participate in this expansion opportunity through enhanced routes to market and sustainable, market-led products,” Lane said.