Strong butter prices along with a 12% rise in milk supplies saw profits more than double at Lakeland Dairies in 2017. Operating profits rose by €9.7m to €16.9m for the year ended 31 December 2017. The 2017 results for the first time also include a full year’s contribution of Fane Valley after the business was acquired in early 2016. Lakeland’s 2016 results only included eight months of a contribution from Fane Valley.

Revenues increased 28% to €769.8m and were boosted by the rise in dairy prices. Profit before tax was €15.9m in 2017. The co-operative, which has more than 2,500 milk suppliers, closed the year with a 15% increase in shareholders’ funds at €117.6m. Earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation (EBIDTA) were €32.6m, increasing significantly from €18.9m in 2016. Profit margins (operating) expanded from 1.2% to 2.1%.