Agropur "satisfied" with performance

Agropur "satisfied" with performance

Agropur saw sales rise by over a quarter in 2015, thanks to the impact of acquisitions and foreign exchange, although the Canadian dairy co-operative's profit performance was mixed.

Sales grew 26% to C$5.87bn (US$4.2bn), with Agropur saying the recent acquisitions of Dairytown Products, Davisco, units of Northumberland Dairy Co-operative and the dairy assets of Canadian retailer Sobeys, contributing to the bulk of the increase.

The translation of Agropur's sales in the US - which accounts for 44% of revenue - added C$171m to the increase in the co-operative's top line.

A full year from Davisco gave a boost to Agropur's sales in the US, as well as 12 months from the co-operative's new plant in Wisconsin. However, falling US block cheese prices and a decline in international whey powder prices dampened Agropur's growth in the US.

The decline in dairy product prices on the international market, as well as competition in Canada, weighed on Agropur's results.

In Canada, Agropur generated sales of C$3.3bn, up from C$3bn in 2014, thanks in part to the Dairytown, Northumberland and Sobeys deals.

Agropur's reported operating earnings stood at C$126.4m, down 23.2% on a year earlier.

The company said its EBITDA before restructuring costs, integration and "other non-recurring costs and joint ventures" reached C$295.1m, up from C$268.3m in 2014.

Agropur's net earnings were C$47.5m, compared to C$38.3m a year earlier. The co-op issued patronage dividends to members of C$40.6m, down from C$92.3m in 2014.

"We are satisfied with our growth and our results, which reflect a solid operational performance," Agropur president Serge Riendeau said. "The growth was driven by our strategic choices of recent years, which have positioned us more effectively than ever for long-term development."