At the release of the its annual report for 2020, Arrabawn reported increased turnover, increased profits and better milk prices for suppliers.

Turnover at Arrabawn Co-op was up by €12.8m to €278.4m, with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) climbing to €10.4m, an increase of €2.9m (37%) on 2019. Operating profit for the year was €2.68m. This was before an exceptional charge of €1.1m due to a restructuring and product recall at Arrabawn's liquid milk facility. Net debt was reduced by €3m.

'Fantastic resilience'

Arrabawn CEO Conor Ryan commented: “We will look back on the past 12 months as a year of and very significant challenge. COVID-19 tested the resolve of everyone, but the agri sector stood firm again in the face of this crisis. Our staff and suppliers showed fantastic resilience in working through this very difficult year and we are, indeed, grateful to all.

“In terms of our individual business units, our ingredients division performed well, with milk price holding up better than expected despite the negative sentiment due to COVID-19. We are particularly proud of the completion of our new casein and effluent plants, which were commissioned ahead of schedule despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

“Our liquid milk division had a challenging year. We responded to this by conducting a review of operations and implementing a related a restrucutring programme and improvements. Theses measures are aimed at putting the business on a more solid footing in what is an increasingly challenging liquid milk market.

“Our agri division, meanwhile, had a very strong year, agri trading was up by 8%, with feed, agri hardware and general hardware the biggest growth areas.”

'Light ahead'

Arrabawn chair Edward Carr added: “Given the unprecedented challenges of 2020, Arrabawn showed great resilience. It was by and large a year for working through challenges and while there is still some distance to go, there is light ahead and we must continue to stay focused as we work through residual issues.

Last year also saw the commissioning of Arrabawn’s new €30m casein and effluent plant at Nenagh. The investment aims to ensure that Arrabawn will have sufficient capacity to deal with milk pool growth for the coming years.

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