Ireland-based agri-food cooperative Aurivo, the owner of brands including Connacht Gold butter and For Goodness Shakes protein drinks, has booked increased profits for 2016 despite a dip in sales.
Aurivo’s net profit was EUR10.1m (US$10.7m), compared to a loss of EUR4m in 2015. Its operating profit stood at EUR12.4m, versus EUR1.5m a year earlier.
The co-op benefited from an exceptional gain of EUR8.6m from the sale of its 75% stake in timber business EEC. In 2015, Aurivo had booked an exceptional cost of EUR1.4m from its purchase of the UK’s My Goodness Limited, the company behind the For Goodness Shakes sports nutrition brand.
Operating profit before exceptionals was EUR3.6m compared to EUR2.8m in 2015.
Revenues fell 7% in 2016 to EUR391m, which Aurivo said was primarily due to the disposal of assets and “a more challenging year for our marts and agri businesses “.
Consumer foods revenues were EUR88.4m, up from EUR80.4m in 2015. Aurivo said its newly-acquired For Goodness Shakes business posted “volumes up 31% and turnover up by 22%”. Revenue from dairy ingredients rose to EUR102.1m from EUR99.5m.
Aurivo CEO Aaron Forde said: “In what was a challenging and volatile year, we are pleased to announce a robust performance by Aurivo across all facets of its business in 2016. The year was a difficult one for the dairy farmer and farming in general as the collapse in milk price continued well into the year before stabilising in July. With this and general all round economic uncertainty as a backdrop, our focus was twofold – to support our suppliers, while at the same time focusing on delivering efficiencies across the business to safeguard its continued financial and operational success.”
Forde told The Irish Times maintaining a “barrier-free border with the UK” after Brexit is “an imperative for the dairy industry here”. However, he said while Aurivo sources about 60m litres of its 400m litre milk pool from farmers in Northern Ireland, the business “is less exposed to the UK market than many of its peers as most of its products are exported to mainland Europe”.
Aurivo employs around 630 people and has regional, national and international brands. The cooperative exports to almost 50 countries.