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Revenues down £122m at Moy Park during 'an unprecedented year'

Moy Park said it spent around £12 million on its Covid-19 response last year.

REVENUES at one the north’s biggest private sector employers fell by £122 million during 2020.

Poultry giant Moy Park reported a 7.7 per cent drop in turnover to £1.458 billion for the year ending December 31 2020.

But a reduction in outgoings in parts of the business during lockdown, including distribution costs, actually resulted in the group recording an 18 per cent rise in pre-tax profits to £82.7 million.

The food processor, which is owned by the Colordo-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, said it spent around £12m addressing Covid, but the revenue hit was largely down to the impact of the pandemic on the wider foodservice and hospitality industries.

In a report filed with Companies House, Moy Park’s directors labelled 2020 as “an unprecedented year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and preparation for Brexit”.

But Moy Park said its preparation for Brexit and the protocol means it has effectively downgraded the risk of Brexit to the business.

The group said “a significant amount of work” was undertaken in 2020 “to ensure that the business was prepared for the Northern Ireland Protocol and the future trading relationship between the EU and the UK”.

Moy Park said the EU and UK trade agreement provided “much welcomed clarity”, adding that “the new trading processes are now embedded in the group’s operating procedures”.

As a result, the directors said: “Brexit is no longer considered a standalone risk.”

Moy Park’s workforce shrank by almost two per cent in 2020, with 10,209 now employed across 12 sites in Northern Ireland, England, France and the Netherlands.

The food processor said it continued to invest heavily in infrastructure last year, pumping £56m back into its operation. That in part saw the group’s net assets rise from £304m in 2019 to £374m in 2020.

Commentating on its performance to date in 2021, Moy Park said: “While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the group, the gradual easing of lockdown will contribute towards the recovery of the foodservice division.

“2021 continues to be a challenging year with various headwinds but as a result of the rapid actions taken by Moy Park’s leadership team to safeguard employees, customers, suppliers and the business, the group’s performance post year end has so far met management expectations.”

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