Dale Farm reports record turnover of £481m in 'hugely positive' accounts

Dale Farm Group chief executive, Nick Whelan described the cooperative's latest financial results as "hugely positive"
Gareth McKeown

THE north's leading dairy company, Dale Farm has reported record financial results, with turnover jumping by 24 per cent to £481 million.

The largest UK farmer-owned dairy cooperative, owned by 1,300 dairy farmers and employing more than 1,000 people, has enjoyed a third consecutive year of strong growth, with group operating profit rising from £9.8m to £12.1m and profit before tax increasing by 28 per cent from £7.9m to £10.1m. The dairy firm also recorded an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of £18.1m for the year ending March 31.

In the past three years the company has invested £19m in its facilities and operations, which seen Dale Farm report a 14.4 per cent group Return on Capital Employed (ROCE).

The positive financial figures comes just a week after Dale Farm agreed a lucrative contract to supply cheese to retail giant Lidl. The deal, which represents the single biggest contract awarded by Lidl to a Northern Ireland agri-food firm, will see Dale Farm cheese stocked in 8,000 stores across 22 countries.

Dale Farm Group chief executive, Nick Whelan described the latest financial results as "hugely positive".

"Our consistent level of growth and profitability is the result of ongoing reinvestment, combined with teamwork and an ambitious strategy that has strengthened partnerships with major customers across the UK, Ireland and beyond," he said.

“A vital ingredient in our success is the strength of our people, so we invest heavily into developing talent that will help us on our growth trajectory. We also continually assess and reinvest into every step of the production process to increase our operating efficiencies and in doing so, have achieved a return on capital well above the industry average.

“This lean model allows us to focus on the sustainability not just of Dale Farm's business, but also the businesses of our growing network of dairy farmers who provide us with world-class milk," Mr Whelan added.

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