Exceptional costs linked to restructuring of Lakeland’s processing sites have left the cross-border dairy co-op with losses after tax of just over £7m* in 2023.

Reporting the financial results, Lakeland CEO Colin Kelly pointed to a challenging year for the entire dairy industry.

“Global markets collapsed, costs at farm and processor level remained stubbornly high, interest rates reached levels not seen for decades, and inflation impacted every one of us,” he said.

The drop off in dairy commodities hit Lakeland turnover, which fell from £1.7bn in 2022 to £1.4bn in 2023. Operating profit, which had reached a record high of £28.7m in 2022, fell to £12.8m, leaving operating profit margin at under 1%.

Once exceptional costs of £12.6m are accounted for, along with interest charges and tax, it leaves the co-op facing a loss for the year.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Colin Kelly explained that the restructuring costs will not recur on an ongoing basis and will lead to an ongoing benefit of €7m. The costs are linked to the decision to close processing sites in Monaghan and Banbridge, as well as milk drying at Lough Egish.

  • *Lakeland results are reported in Euros and have been converted to Sterling at the year-end exchange rate.