In what the directors described as a “strong financial performance for the year”, Ornua’s pre-tax profit jumped from £8m (€9.3m) the previous year to £11.6m (€13.5m) for the 2022 financial year.

However, this excludes an actuarial loss recognised in the pension scheme of €3.9m which, when added to taxation, reduced the total comprehensive income for the year to £6.8m (€7.9m), compared with £9.5m (€11m) in 2021, when an actuarial gain of £3.8m (€4.4m) was recognised in the pension scheme.

Turnover was up from £400m (€467m) in 2021 to £480m (€560m) in 2022, while the total number of employees fell from 720 to 692 in the 2022 financial year.

60 years celebrated

Kerrygold celebrated 60 years in the British market in 2022 and occupies third-place in the block butter brand market, with a premium position in the market compared with competitors.

Ornua are the largest supplier of British and Irish cheese in the UK market, with the Pilgrims Choice the number-two cheese brand in the UK market.

Cheese production is centred on Ornua’s cheese-packing facility in Leek, Staffordshire, which was subject to further investment in what the directors described as “leading cheese-cutting and packing technology” at the “state-of-the-art cheese packing facility”.

Ornua’s UK business isn’t just Kerrygold and Pilgrims Choice, they are also major players in their own label butter and cheese products in the large UK supermarkets. The company produces and also purchases butter and cheese products from both the wider Ornua group and a range of UK cheese suppliers.

Volatile input costs, inflationary pressures, volatile commodity prices and retention of key customers are all identified as risks by the directors, but they are “confident that the company will continue to add value and grow in the future.”