Dale Farm delivers double-digit growth

Dale Farm Group Chief Executive Nick Whelan
Dale Farm Group Chief Executive Nick Whelan
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Dale Farm has announced significant increases in profit, return on capital employed (ROCE) and turnover as part of its financial results for the year ending March 2019.

Group operating profit is up 18% to £14.3m, profit before tax up 19% to £12m, with EBITDA up 15% to £20.9m. Overall group turnover grew 5.6% to £509m.

Commenting on the results, which reflect a fourth year of consistent growth in profitability for the business, Dale Farm Group Chief Executive Nick Whelan said:

“Our financial performance is measured by our ability to best support our farmer owners and, as such, our 2018/19 accounts are hugely positive. Our consistent profitable growth is the result of our people working together on an ambitious strategy in a culture of continuous improvement, a focus on product and process innovation and building partnerships with major customers across the UK, EU and beyond.

“I am delighted to be able to report that Dale Farm has paid the leading milk price as per the 12-month rolling milk price league in Northern Ireland throughout this past financial year,” Nick Whelan said.

Having invested £30.2m into its facilities and operations over the last four years, Dale Farm this year reported a 15.8% group Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) for the group overall – a figure Nick Whelan highlights as noteworthy:

“We 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.

“A vital ingredient in our success is the capability of our people, so we also invest heavily in developing talent to support the delivery of our growth trajectory. In addition, we have a fundamental belief in the evolution of the ‘Lean’ culture across our group, which is a vital tool in helping us manage both significant ongoing cost inflation and address the impact of potential challenges, such as Brexit.

“Our cooperative ethos is underpinned by a long-term vision to support dairy farming across Northern Ireland and Great Britain and that will remain the driving force behind our development going forward.

“Success for Dale Farm means success for every dairy farmer within our membership as we look to strengthen our balance sheet, while at the same time paying the best milk price possible. This ethos has attracted a significant number of new members and suppliers over the past financial year with growth of over 7% in our milk pool,” Nick Whelan added.