THE Ballineen-based Carbery Group has reported strong results for the year ended December 31st, 2016, while maintaining industry-leading milk prices in challenging dairy market conditions.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), for the company owned by the four West Cork dairy co-ops – Bandon, Barryroe, Drinagh and Lisavaird – increased by 4.8% to €37 million, up from €35.3 million in 2015. Turnover for the year was down slightly at €340 million compared to €349.5 million in the previous year.
An international manufacturer of value-added ingredients, flavours and cheese, the Group is reporting EBITA (operating profit before interest, tax, amortisation and exceptional items) of €27.1 million (2015: €25.5 million) reflecting a year on year increase of 6%. On a constant currency basis, EBITA increased by 9% year on year.
Dan MacSweeney, chief executive officer of the Carbery Group, said that the results were achieved against a market backdrop of weak global dairy prices: ‘During the year, we prioritised the need to support milk prices for our dairy farmers and, once again, Carbery paid industry-leading milk prices. ‘This was possible due to the underlying strong performances from our Ireland-based dairy and nutrition divisions and our international division, Synergy, which continued to grow its customer base in overseas markets,’ he said.
During 2016 Carbery invested a further €15.4 million in its dairy and ingredients divisions in line with the Group’s growth strategy. This brings investment in the business over the past five years to a total of €78.2 million.
Carbery Group’s net debt position at December 31st, 2016 was reduced to €26.2 million (2015: €27.8 million).
The value of Carbery B shares increased from €3.08 in 2016 to a value of €3.51 in 2017, an increase of 14%.
The outlook for the Carbery Group business is positive for 2017, given its strong and dynamic dairy, ingredients and flavours business divisions: ‘In the medium term, Brexit presents a significant challenge to many businesses in the food industry in Ireland, and Carbery is not immune to this challenge. We are currently evaluating all potential scenarios with a view to limiting the impact of the Brexit process on our shareholders and milk suppliers,’ concluded Mr MacSweeney.