Dairy nutrition specialist Volac has reported a reduced profit on slightly higher sales in the year ended December 31st 2014. The figures relate to a ten month period, rather than a full year, as the company changes its reporting period to a calendar year basis.
The company made a pre-tax profit of £16.4 million on revenues of £197m in the ten months compared to £18.3m and £199m in the year to February 28th 2014. Turnover figures have included 100% of sales from the DVN whey processing business in Holland since October 2013, when Volac acquired the whole interest in a formerly joint venture business. While it counts towards all 10 months of the latest reporting period, it only contributed 5 months to previous full year one.
Volac’s sales outside the UK and Ireland increased from 47% to 63% of total turnover, despite the weaker euro exchange rate. At the year end, the business employed 391 people, up from 382 previously.
The business has continued investment in the development and promotion of its Upbeat consumer brand that aims to “bring the unique benefits of whey protein to mainstream consumers by combining health, taste and convenience. It has also completed a feasibility study into the building of a biomass green energy plant adjacent to its Felinfach whey processing factory in Wales, in order to provide secure, efficiency and sustainable energy supplies.
Internally, Volac is investing in a new ERP system and related process and organisational developments, which will equip it with the IT infrastructure to support continued growth.
“Our sales growth in the last year reinforces our belief in the long-term future of the dairy nutrition markets we are involved in,” says Volac chief executive James Neville. “Over the last year we have focused on delivering the benefits of previous investments which include increased silage inoculant capacity; our new ERP system and the Upbeat consumer functional beverage brand. In the 10 month reporting period we have continued to make revenue investments in the Upbeat brand, ERP system and the Felinfach feasibility work.
“In July 2015 we established Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients (ATN July 24th), a significant new joint venture between Volac and Wilmar International to develop an added value global animal feed fat business. The joint venture combines the nutritional reputation, global brand and sales network of Volac with the operational raw material logistics and scale of Wilmar to bring real benefits to our customers and make a significant contribution to the growth of Volac.
The dairy industry is experiencing challenging times, with supply exceeding demand leading to lower prices across the supply chain,” Mr Neville concludes. “Volac has a diverse business which improves the resilience of the company, but it is not immune to the current dairy market situation.”