Dunbia’s UK meat processing business saw operating profits go up by nearly 60% in 2020.

Total sales for the year finished at £1.194bn, an increase of £125m on the previous year, leaving operating profits of £13.4m, an increase of 57% on the £8.5m from 2019.

However, meat processing is a low-margin business, and success is reliant on high turnover. Operating profit margin in 2020 stood at 1.1% compared to 0.8% in the previous year. That compares to dairy co-ops typically reporting profit margins in the range of 2% to 3%.

Dunbia’s pre-tax profit in 2020 was £6.6m, which is behind the £7.7m recorded in 2018.

Company directors put the increase seen in 2020 down to increased production volumes and achievement of economies of scale from a restructuring of operations.

Dunbia UK operates an abattoir and retail packing facility in Dungannon, as well as various sites across Britain, including a major lamb processing business in Wales.

Established by Jim and Jack Dobson, Dunbia entered into an agreement with Dawn Meats in 2017, whereby Dawn held a majority stake in a joint venture in the UK alongside Jim Dobson.

Dawn Meats took complete ownership of Dunbia in 2020, with Jim Dobson and his son, Matthew, resigning as directors of the business.

The immediate parent company of Dunbia UK is Dunbia Holdings Ltd incorporated in the Isle of Man. The ultimate parent is QBD Holdings (Isle of Man) Unlimited, for which financial statements are not publicly available.

QBD is owned by the Queally and Browne families, who originally set up Dawn Meats.

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