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27/09/2021

Donegal milk plant processes an average of more than 300,000 litres of milk a day

Killygordon plant a major part of Aurivo Co-op success

Donegal milk plant processes an average of more than 300,000 litres of milk a day

A liquid milk processing plant in Donegal processed an average of more than 300,000 litres of milk every day in 2020, Donegal Live can reveal.

The Aurivo liquid milk plant in Killygordon, Co Donegal processed 110 million litres in 2020, an increase of one million litres on 2019 as it played its part in helping to boost turnover for the group to €488.7 million in 2020, up 9.4% on the previous year. 

In what was a uniquely challenging year due to the global pandemic, the Co-op delivered a strong financial performance for 2020 and delivered an operating profit (before one off exceptionals) of €8.5m, an increase of 170% on the previous year (2019: €3.2m). 

The latest financial results for the Sligo-based Co-op show the Aurivo milk pool for 2020 was 477 million litres, up  5.5% on 2019. Aurivo - whose products include the Connacht Gold and Donegal Creameries brands - is the second largest liquid milk processor in the Republic of Ireland.

The Co-op’s consumer foods milk brands performed well in a very competitive marketplace – reporting an 8% increase in the retail channel.

According to the annual results for the year ended December 31, 2020, Aurivo’s Homeland store network traded throughout 2020 contributing strongly to the overall performance for the business unit. Changes in consumer behaviours brought about by Covid-19 saw strong customer engagement both in-store and online resulting in 1.65 million transactions in 2020. 

With increased consumer spending moving online, this resulted in strong growth of Homeland.ie, which delivered an essential service for many throughout lockdown.

A further online development included the launch of Aurivo’s animal nutrition site Nutrias.ie.

Feed tonnage also delivered a strong performance with an increase in volume of 8%.   

Difficulties already faced by the livestock marts business were compounded in 2020 by Covid-19, with enforced closures experienced by the industry in April 2020. 

Reporting a turnover of €65.9m (2019: €67.5m), the business adapted to the environment, in an effort to protect customers and employees, by moving to online auctions for the first time in its history, in May and June of 2020. 

The online auction offered an opportunity to buyers to purchase stock online, while providing real-time bidding information to farmers. 

Commenting on the annual results, Donal Tierney, Chief Executive of Aurivo said: “Aurivo has reported a strong and resilient set of results for 2020, in what was a uniquely challenging year.  Against the backdrop of a global crisis, the hard work and agility of our employees, suppliers and members enabled the Co-op to maintain essential supplies, services, and food products across domestic and global markets. 

“As CEO, I am particularly proud of the very high service levels that have been provided across all business units.”

He added: “The Aurivo average milk price for the year was 35.61cpl compared to 34.35cpl in 2019. In addition, we established a milk stability fund of €3m which will be paid out in future years to help our milk supply base manage market volatility.”

Aurivo is one of Ireland’s leading co-operatives, with businesses in Consumer Foods, Dairy Ingredients, Retail Stores, Animal Feeds, and Livestock Trading. 

Employing approximately 650 people, Aurivo is a globally focused agri-business with regional, national, and international brands, and dairy ingredients exports to almost 50 countries in markets as diverse as Afghanistan, Africa, Central America, Costa Rica, Germany, Iraq and the United Kingdom. 

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