Dairy processing co-operative Lakeland Dairies has reported strong financial results for the year to the end of December.

In spite of difficult dairy market conditions, Lakeland Dairies said its revenues rose by 2% to €601m.

That yielded an operating profit of €7.2m before exceptional costs, and EBITDA of €18.9m. 

Lakeland Dairies said it closed the year with a strong balance sheet and shareholder's funds of €102m.
Lakeland Dairies operates across 15 counties on a cross border basis. It processes milk into a wide range of value-added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients. 

The co-operative has a portfolio of 240 different dairy products which it exports to 80 countries worldwide.

The co-op bought Fane Valley Dairies in May 2016, increasing milk intake by 22% to 1.1 billion litres. 

It said the continuing benefit of this additional milk flow, together with generally increasing milk supplies, will take full effect in the current year as intake rises to 1.2 billion litres of milk, which should contribute to economies of scale.

"In a challenging and sometimes unpredictable dairy market environment, Lakeland Dairies continued to make very positive progress in 2016," commented Lakeland's group chief executive Michael Hanley. 

"Our developments have further advanced our competitiveness and processing scale. We are especially pleased that, in spite of difficult market conditions, we sold all of our output to really well established customers where we have consistently increasing levels of demand," he added.