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Boosted retail sales keeps turnover up for Dale Farm


Nick Whelan, Group chief executive, and Fred Allen, chairman, Dale Farm.

Nick Whelan, Group chief executive, and Fred Allen, chairman, Dale Farm.


Nick Whelan, Group chief executive, and Fred Allen, chairman, Dale Farm.

Turnover and operating profit have risen in the latest financial report from Dale Farm, with Group Chief Executive Nick Whelan welcoming a “resilient” performance.

Boosted retail sales balanced out higher operating costs and foodservice sector losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic for the local dairy cooperative, which rebranded this year with a focus on its farmer ownership.

Results for the financial year ending March 2021 included turnover up £19m year on year from £505m to £524m, while Group operating profit rose from £12.2m to £14.0m.

Group operating profit (after exceptional items) was down from £12.2m to £9.9m, and Group profit before tax from £9.8m to £8.2m. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), meanwhile, increased from £19.3m to £20.8m.

“I am pleased to report another solid year of results for Dale Farm for 2020/21, achieved despite some challenges during the year, not least the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Nick Whelan, Group chief executive, Dale Farm.

“Our breadth of sales channels allowed us to benefit from an uplift in retail sales volumes in 2020/21 despite a decline in foodservice sales volumes due to the pandemic.

“Additional operating costs were incurred during the year due to Covid-19; however, despite these headwinds we achieved a solid set of financial results. It is also important to acknowledge the exceptional dedication of our people across the business who delivered a resilient performance.

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“Despite the challenges of 2020/21, we continued with our focus to maximise the return on our members’ milk supply through successful innovation, value added sales streams, proactive margin improvement and continuous cost control, all of which will stand us in good stead and enable us to pay a market competitive milk price as we move forward.

“The business improvements achieved during 2020/21 and the continued commitment of our people allow us to look with confidence into 2021/22 and beyond. As always, continuous investment in our plant and people, and maximising profitability whilst paying a market competitive milk price will be at the heart of our strategy.”