Lakeland Dairies in merger deal with Fane Valley as it posts £9.4m profits
Lakeland Dairies - which has a large operation in Co Down - has posted profits of £9.4m as it reveals it has also taken on another Northern Ireland firm.
Pre-tax profits rose by 10% for 2015, while revenue at the firm grew to £434m. Lakeland Dairies, which is based in Co Cavan but has a major site in Newtownards, has also agreed a deal to take on Co Down business Fane Valley, after earlier talks of a merger between the co-operatives.
That means the joint business could now see around one billion litres of milk pass through its sites in Northern Ireland.
Trevor Lockhart, chief executive of Fane Valley, said both businesses "are absolutely convinced that the interests of their respective milk suppliers will be better served in a combined business which can deliver greater economies of scale and enhanced market capability."
"The option to deliver this through a joint venture model has been the subject of an in depth assessment by both co-operatives.
"In the end, it was evident that some of the complexities involved in establishing and operating a cross-border joint venture of this nature were going to detract from the key strategic purpose of the merger and the ability to fully realise all commercial synergies."
Lakeland Dairies chief executive Michael Hanley said it "continues to make strong progress".