The Arrow Group posted an operating profit of €27.1m for 2020, which is more than double the €13m for 2019.
This was achieved on a slightly reduced turnover of €585.4m, leading to a healthy operating profit margin of 4.6%. Close to 2,000 people were employed by the group at a cost of €82.8m, just under €42,000 per employee.
Last year’s figures are more in line with 2018 when an operating profit of €19.3m was posted with the drop in 2019 partially attributed to a non-cash impairment charge of €7.7m.
The 2020 accounts also include a €6.4m contribution from the Government’s wage subsidy scheme.
Irish Dog Foods, the pet food business, was one of several companies disrupted by COVID-19 in the middle of 2020
Among the group’s businesses that are particularly well-known in Irish agri-food circles are QK Meats and QK Cold Stores, as well as Dawn Farm Foods, which is a major supplier to sandwich and pizza businesses.
Irish Dog Foods, the pet food business, was one of several companies disrupted by COVID-19 in the middle of 2020.
Peter and John Queally, along with Dan Browne, were the founders of Dawn Meats and remain major shareholders and directors of that business.
The directors’ report highlighted the negative impact of the pandemic on the business in the second quarter of 2020 with the shutdown of the food service sector before recovery in the second half of the year, with a move to home consumption.
Arrow disposed of one of its businesses after year-end, selling its shares in Glenpatrick Natural Mineral Watercoolers Ltd and an associate AquaDirect SL
The company invested in what it describes as appropriate health and safety measures and worked with the Government and regulatory bodies to mitigate the risks.
It also believes that it is well placed to deal with the effects of Brexit, which it acknowledges are causing operational and administrative changes for the company, but that the outlook for the business is “fundamentally unchanged”.
Arrow disposed of one of its businesses after year-end, selling its shares in Glenpatrick Natural Mineral Watercoolers Ltd and an associate AquaDirect SL. This generated a €4m profit for the group after the year-end and a €4.5m dividend was declared to the shareholders in the first quarter of 2021.
The Arrow Group is a basket of separate and diverse food businesses owned by the Queally family, who along with Dan Browne, were founders of Dawn Meats which is operated as a separate business. They have a meat processing business, QK Meats, Co Kildare, in two cold stores in Ireland plus one in the UK, an international meat trading business and a pet food business.
No doubt the various Brexit deadlines meant stockpiling and it was good for the storage business
Dawn Farm Foods is a major presence in ingredients for pizza, sandwiches and prepared foods to over 55,000 customers in the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Given the amalgamation of these under the Arrow Group means no specific insight into any individual section of the business.
No doubt the various Brexit deadlines meant stockpiling and it was good for the storage business. After a wobble following the lockdown in much of Europe and the US, food markets recovered with retail sales going a large way to offset food service loses.
Irrespective of Brexit and pandemic problems, 2020 was successful for the Arrow Group.