Poultry giant Moy Park's profits took £50m hit from rising costs in 2021

Moy Park's profits took a massive hit last year due to rising costs across the poultry industry.

MOY Park has blamed the impact of rising costs across the poultry industry after taking a £50 million hit to its profits last year.

The north's largest private sector business reported a 4.8 per cent (£71m) rise in turnover to £1.53 billion in 2021.

But Moy Park's costs rose by 10 per cent (£122m) over the same period, resulting in the group's pre-tax profits sliding by 60 per cent from £82.7m in 2020 to £32.7m last year.

The group said it had faced a year of “unprecedented cost increases in feed, utilities and labour” during 2021.

Moy Park has been part of the US Pilgrim's Pride Corporation since 2017.

While Pilgrim's bought the group from Brazil's JBS, the south American food giant owns 79 per cent of the Colorado headquartered poultry group.

The latest accounts for Moy Park show it spent £789m on raw materials last year, £89m more than the year before.

The group said its “customer models” and “additional negotiations”, together with the recovery of the food services sector had partially offset some of the extra costs.

Moy Park's 2021 report also reveals its workforce fell during the pandemic from 10,126 in 2019 to 9,657 across its nine sites last year.

Just over half of Moy Park's workforce is based in Northern Ireland, with plants in Dungannon, Craigavon and Ballymena. But it also operates five sites in England, three in France and a meat free unit in the Netherlands.

In a review of the business in 2021, the directors said: “Performance was impacted by high cost inflation which affected the whole of the poultry industry.

“Following an extremely challenging year, our focus on innovation and effective cost control continues to be of utmost importance to maintain a strong position in the market.

“Central to our success is a business based on the highest quality standards of animal husbandry, production and processing and a determination to meet and exceed the ever changing requirements over customers and consumers. “

The group said that due to the uncertainty posed by Covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it “will continue to focus on managing costs including labour and yield efficiencies, agricultural performance and investment in capital projects delivering competitive paybacks, safety and quality”.

Despite the surging costs, Moy park said it continued to invest in its operations, with £43m spent across the group last year.