Bega Cheese today (23 August) booked higher annual sales and profits in a year executive chairman Barry Irvin described as “historic” for the Australia-based food group.

The company posted revenue of AUD1.23bn (US$971.3m) for the 12 months to the end of June, up 3% on a year earlier.

Bega’s reported EBITDA more than trebled to AUD228.9m and its profit after tax attributable to shareholders more than quadrupled to AUD138.7m.

Given one-off factors that affected the numbers – included proceeds from the sale of infant-formula assets to Mead Johnson – Irvin said it would be “more appropriate” to look at Bega’s “normalised” results. They included a 7% rise in EBITDA to AUD70.6m and a 4% increase in profit after tax attributable to shareholders to AUD30.3m.

During the year, Bega struck a deal to buy a clutch of its Australian and New Zealand grocery brands, including the spread business Vegemite, from Mondelez International for AUD460m (then US$346m). The deal was finalised in early July.

“The acquisition and the achievements of FY2017 will I am sure in the future be viewed as one of the most important years in Bega Cheese’s history,” Irvin said.

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Bega said its revenue growth came from a “continued focus on growing consumer and foodservice dairy products, brands and customers”, which the company said are “traditionally more stable segments than dairy commodities”.