West Cork-based international ingredients and cheese company Carbery Group said its turnover for 2019 increased by 3% to €434.1m 

The company behind Dubliner cheese said that group EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation (net of grants), amortisation of goodwill, other intangibles and exceptional items) increased by 1% to €44.3m.

Carbery said its milk volumes last year increased by 6% in 2019 to 567 million litres.

While slightly delayed, Carbery said its expects its new mozzarella line will be operational this year after its cheese diversification investment of €78m.

The company said that last year's growth was driven by expansion across all platforms.

Its Nutrition business continued to grow and performed strongly and to support market expansion into Asia, a commercial base in Shanghai was opened during the year.

The company said its strong performance across its Synergy taste division was driven by the continuing implementation of the newly updated global strategy. 

"This includes responding to the changing taste and dietary needs of the European customer base, as well as supporting growth plans in Asia by the opening in 2019 of Carbery Group's first customer centre in Indonesia," it added.

Carbery also said its Americas Taste business continued to deliver strong results and 2019 saw the launch of the Dairy Taste portfolio in the Americas market.

Jason Hawkins, Carbery's chief executive, said that while the company's positive business results were a major achievement, what he and his team are most proud of is how these results were achieved.

"At Carbery, we have been focusing on how the business performs, but also on how we do business. Due to our co-operative model, and our close relationship with our farmer suppliers in West Cork, we have always been connected to the community and the product that we produce," he said. 

"Throughout 2019 we have been working on how we can safeguard the future of our business, while improving on that connection and commitment, both in Ireland and in our operations across the world," he added.

On the outbreak of Covid-19, Mr Hawkins said the Carbery Group is focused on its business continuity plans and managing the situation so it can maintain uninterrupted production processes across its businesses throughout the crisis.

"Like all processors, we are closely monitoring volatile dairy markets across the world. Our primary concerns, as we remain at the peak of this crisis, are to safeguard the health of our employees and our farmer suppliers, as we endeavour to maintain production," the CEO added.