Belfast Telegraph

Moy Park profits down 70% to £9.4m despite sales hike

By Rachel Martin

Pre-tax profits at Moy Park are down by more than 70% to £9.4m despite a sales increase.

According to the company's results for the year to January 2, the poultry processor - Northern Ireland's largest employer - saw profits drop from £32.3m in 2014 to £9.4m last year.

And during the same period, the company's full-year figures showed a 1.4% increase in turnover of £1.44m.

In its annual statement, the chicken business put its increased expenditure down to "exceptional items".

It explained that the exceptional items included the cost of preparing to float the company on the Stock Exchange.

The plan was ultimately abandoned and the company was instead bought over by JBS in September.

The takeover was Northern Ireland's largest ever food firm deal, costing JBS £988m.

As part of the company's restructure, production of its cooked chicken ranges, which had been carried out at a factory in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, was moved to Moy Park's Grantham site in Lincolnshire.

The costs incurred closing the site in southern England were also included as exceptional items.

The results showed that the firm's underlying pre-tax profit, which excludes exceptional items, bond interest and foreign exchange changes on inter-company loans, was up by 2% to £45.5m.

In the same period its sales volume grew by almost 7%, and for the first time the business processed more than five million birds a week.

Chief executive Janet McCollum said: "The strong performance was delivered against the backdrop of a highly competitive market, foreign exchange headwinds, commodity price deflation and export restrictions."

Also accounted for in the results was a £27.5m investment in its facilities in Dungannon, Craigavon and Ashbourne in Co Meath.

Moy Park remains Northern Ireland's biggest employer, with 6,300 staff here and another 5,400 in Britain.

Ms McCollum told the Belfast Telegraph that the company was in favour of the UK remaining in the EU.

She said that "Europe was Moy Park's market".

Aside from the factories in the Republic and Britain, it has operations in France and Holland.

Belfast Telegraph