The Irish Dairy Board has said that its 2012 turnover increased by 2.4% to €2.03 billion, with earnings up nearly 11% to €42.1m.

Profit before tax for the year came to €16.3m, up 5.8% on the year before.

The Dairy Board is Ireland's biggest exporter of premium dairy products and employs 3,100 people globally.

It said that Kerrygold is now the top selling butter in Germany with a 15% market share, while it is the number one imported butter in America.

The Dairy Board launched 50 new products last year and said today that it is well-placed to take advantage of opportunities in the market when milk quotas end in 2015.

It also saw significant investments in markets in Africa, Middle East, Russia and China during the year and bought the Cheese Warehouse, which it described as a key route to the UK markets when the milk quotas end.

''With the right structures in place, we are well positioned to take advantage of the exciting opportunities emerging in our industry,'' commented the company's chief executive Kevin Lane.