Lakeland Dairies has reported an 18% increase in revenues to €472 million and a 52% rise in operating profit to €6.85 million for the year ended 31st December 2011.

It is Ireland's second largest dairy processing co-operative.

"While global economic and trading conditions continued to be difficult, it has been an excellent year for Lakeland Dairies where we are benefiting from our recent investments in advanced processing capabilities together with focussed and intensive business development activities," said chief executive, Michael Hanley.

Lakeland Dairies exports to over 70 countries offering some 170 branded dairy products to customers throughout the world. In 2011, Lakeland processed over 700 million litres of milk into a range of value added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients.

The turnover figure of €472m was underpinned by strong sales, a maximised milk processing throughput, enhanced logistical capabilities and an ongoing operational efficiency programme across the organisation.

This contributed to a further strengthening of the balance sheet with shareholders' funds of €81m at year-end.

Foodservice performance, food ingredients revenues and agri-trading turnover all increased.

Lakeland Dairies anticipate further solid progress although the global economy has slowed.