Lakeland achieves €1bn revenues and produces 2bn litres of milk

Investment in new innovation, new products and new routes to market are the order of the day at farmer-owned Lakeland Dairies.

The largest cross-border dairy processing co-operative on the island of Ireland Lakeland Daires has achieved record revenues which increased by over 5.7pc to €1.09bn across its four operating divisions of Food Ingredients, Foodservice, Consumer Foods and Agribusiness, up by €59.3m on the prior year figure of €1.03bn.

Farmer owned Lakeland Dairies collects 1.9bn litres of milk from 3,200 farm families across 16 counties in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The co-operative has a portfolio of 240 different dairy products made on 8 processing sites which it exports to over 80 countries worldwide.

“All of our initiatives are focused on serving the long-term sustainability of our farm families while working in partnership with our customers throughout the world”

This yielded an operating profit of €26m, up 27pc by €5.6m.

Lakeland Dairies closed the year with a further strengthened balance sheet including Shareholders’ Funds of €207.7m.

The cream of the crop

Man wearing blue suit.

Lakeland Dairies Group chief executive Michael Hanley

Food Ingredient revenues increased by 18pc to €691.0m, based on consistently strong demand for the co-operative’s functional and enriched powders, proteins and dairy fats throughout the year.  Lakeland Dairies produced over 250,000 tonnes of powders and butter in 2020.

The company’s Foodservice revenues of €181.7m came in higher than expected in a very challenging year, albeit retracting by 24pc on the prior year, given the exceptionally difficult market conditions experienced by this sector as a result of the pandemic.

Consumer Foods had a buoyant year in line with an uplift in overall grocery market growth levels, with revenues of €145.9m

Lakeland Agri increased revenues by 4.7pc to €75.8m for the year, based on a strong performance with feed sales volumes of 220,000 tonnes, an increase of just over 4.7pc, and fertiliser sales steady at 27,000 tonnes, similar to the prior year.

Lakeland Dairies Group chief executive Michael Hanley said the results are very positive given the global events of 2020.

“Notwithstanding the major operational, logistical and commercial constraints of the pandemic, both domestically and globally, we continued to make strong progress across all of our operations and this has yielded excellent results. We paid a competitive milk price throughout the year in line with market conditions.”

He said Lakeland was able to pay a competitive milk price despite serious market uncertainties that existed throughout the year.

“Market returns depend on the dynamic of milk supply and demand that exists between countries, geographies and continents, also including seasonality and ‘force majeure’ issues such as the pandemic.

“We expect relatively stable dairy market conditions through 2021 albeit there are still significant challenges in our operating environment as we await the anticipated beneficial effect of worldwide vaccine initiatives.

“All of our initiatives are focused on serving the long-term sustainability of our farm families while working in partnership with our customers throughout the world. We have excellent facilities using advanced systems and technologies. We continue to invest in our innovation capacity, new products and new ways to market. We have long-term, loyal and deeply valued customers and we have the scale we require to continue to compete successfully on a global basis.”

By John Kennedy (

Published: 15 April 2021