Northern Ireland dairy co-operative Dale Farm has reported its highest ever turnover and profit to date for the year ending March 2022.

Overall group turnover at the co-operative increased to £591m from £524m the previous year.

Group operating profit was reported at £25.6m, up from £14m, while group net profit before tax grew to £22.1m from £8.2m and EBITDA rose to £33.8m from £20.8m.

The milk price paid to producers for the financial year averaged at 33.88 pence per litre, an increase of 5.56 pence per litre year on year.

This marked the highest Dale Farm has ever paid its farmers.

Nick Whelan, group chief executive of Dale Farm, said the co-op's focus is ensuring that the business is as efficient and profitable as possible so that it can pay the most competitive milk price - while also building a stable future for Dale Farm and the farmers who own the cooperative.

"In recent years, turnover has grown by 60% and profits have almost tripled. Achieving that means constantly adapting to change and taking difficult decisions, reviewing those areas that can no longer deliver for us and investing strongly in those that do," Mr Whelan said.

Dale Farm is owned by over 1,300 dairy farmers who supply the cooperative with milk. The average amount of milk produced per farm during the 2021/22 financial period increased by almost 4%.