The results for the company show a pre-tax profit of £6.8m ($8.6m), down £0.3m ($0.38m) on the previous year.
Ornua said the slight drop in profitability was due to less favorable market conditions for traded commodities, which was largely offset by a strong underlying performance in the core business. This was driven by a better customer mix, branded sales and an ongoing focus on rigorous cost control and efficiencies.
The company’s sales volumes remained stable with sales increasing to £322m ($407m), and net assets of £31.8m ($40.2m), up from £25m ($31.6m) the previous year.
During 2018, the company continued to invest in capital expenditure and marketing. Capital expenditure included further investment in cheese cutting and packing technology, and energy reduction projects. In addition, the business continued to invest in multi-channel marketing campaigns for both its Pilgrims Choice and Kerrygold brands.
Bill Hunter, managing director of Ornua Foods UK, said, “Our solid financial performance reflects our focus on delivering for our major UK retail customers consistent quality, customer service excellence, innovative ways of working and a strong own-label and branded product portfolio.
“In the current financial year, we are seeing the positive effect of a number of important new business wins secured in 2018. This, combined with an ongoing commitment to investing in our production capabilities and delivering high profile marketing support for our Pilgrims Choice and Kerrygold brands, is, I believe, creating a strong platform for future growth and development.”
About Ornua Foods UK
Ornua Foods UK produces and purchases butter and cheese that is packed into a range of formats for selling into the retail own-label and branded market, primarily in the UK. Cheese and butter products are purchased both from the company's parent (Ornua Co-operative Limited) and also a range of cheese suppliers in the UK.
Ornua is a dairy co-operative that markets and sells dairy products on behalf of its members; Ireland’s dairy processors and, in turn, Irish dairy farmers. It is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, exporting to 110 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Dublin, it has annualized sales of more than €2bn ($2.24bn) and a global team of 2,200 employees.