Sligo co-operative Aurivo, which counts Connacht Gold and Donegal Creameries among its brands, has announced small increases in its turnover and profits for the year to the end of December.

Turnover at the group rose by 0.7% to €446.8m, while its group operating profit, before exceptionals, increased by 5% to €3.2m after what it called another year of volatility in global dairy market.

Aurivo is the middle of a five year investment programme.

During the year it completed three significant capital investment projects - its new €26m, five-tonne dryer at its dairy ingredients site, a €6m investment in front-end processing at its liquid milk plant and a €1.2m investment in storage and out-loading facilities at its animal feed mill. 

"The strategic objectives of the Engage 2022 strategy continue to resonate throughout the business and underpin our growth," the co-op group stated.

Aurivo said it processed a total of 459 million litres of milk last year, which marked growth of 4.5% on 2018. It also that two new fixed milk price schemes were introduced last year, bringing the number of fixed milk price schemes to six.

It noted that the average price paid for milk in 2019 was 34.07 cent per litre (cpl).

Donal Tierney, who was appointed chief executive of Aurivo in January 2020, said that as the group near the halfway point of its 2022 strategy, Aurivo has progressed from the planning and building stage to the implementation and realisation of significant capital investment in the co-operative.

"The political volatility that prevailed in 2019, coupled with the Covid-19 Pandemic that has swept the nation in 2020, has brought unprecedented challenges to our business and the economy," Donal Tierney said. 

"For over 120 years we have made every effort to improve the viability of local farming communities and create employment. It is this community ethos along with Aurivo's proven track record that will see us through this challenging time and enable us to continue to serve our members and communities of the future," he added.