This compares to €96.6m ($105m) in the first half of 2018. Milk output also increased sharply by 68% to 352,000 tons of raw milk.
Accounting for 71% or €111.5m ($121m) of total revenues, the sale of raw milk remains the most important source of income for the Group. Milk processing generated revenues of €17.6m ($19.2m) and thus contributed 11% to total revenues.
As part of the ongoing expansion of raw milk production, the total herd for the production of milk increased from 133,060 to 159,200 cattle in the first half of 2019; the dairy cow herd was expanded from around 63,100 to around 80,500 animals. Daily milk output climbed 30% from 1,650 tons on December 31, 2018 to 2,150 tons on June 30, 2019.
Stefan Dürr, majority shareholder and CEO of Ekosem-Agrar AG, said, “Our operating activities continued to show a positive trend in the first six months of 2019 and we took important steps to expand our integrated business model.
“In milk production we have already opened eight new dairy cow facilities in the year to date, while the sales network for our milk processing operations has been expanded to over 2,000 points of sale. Our entry into the Leningrad region in the first half of the year and the resulting expansion of our activities to nine regional locations was an equally important milestone.”
Total output (revenue plus changes in the balances of fall-ploughed land and of agricultural produce and biological assets as well as other operating income) increased by 65% to €267.1m ($291m) in the first half of 2019.
Personnel expenses and the cost of materials increased as a result of the ongoing expansion, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose sharply by 96% to €88.4m ($96.3m), equivalent to an EBITDA margin of 33.1%.
Net profit for the period rose to €23.2m ($25.3m).
The company said the increase in total assets to €1.9bn ($2.07bn) as of June 30, 2019, is primarily attributable to the strong expansion of raw milk production, with eight dairy cow facilities newly opened and seven more under construction in 2019, as well as to seasonal effects.
Financial liabilities including leasing liabilities totaled €1.1bn ($1.2bn).
The management board said it expects the dairy cow herd to grow to around 100,000 animals by the end of the year and the raw milk output to increase to around 800,000 tons for the full year. Sales revenues are projected to climb to up to €400m ($436m).