Dairy chief expects milk pool to begin levelling off
THE Lakeland Dairies chief believes the massive growth rate in the world's milk pool will begin to level off as farmers continue to feel the pain of poor prices.
Group CEO Michael Hanley said the markets had proved "tough" during 2015, with the absence of Russia from the marketplace due to political moves at EU level leaving a major gap.
"That is a major customer gone, China has been buying less and there seems to be less revenue about in the oil importing countries," he said.
"We had a good year in the business," said Mr Hanley, pointing out their annual results for 2015 showed profits before tax had increased 10pc to €12.8m despite a slight drop in overall group revenues to €588.5m.
Under new accountancy regulations that have seen a number of agri-businesses reveal top level pay for the first time, Lakelands reported eight key managers received €1.65m in total last year while board members receive only expenses.
He said they did not intend to break down the figures for key personnel any further.
The figures showed staff costs amounted to €41.6m including pay and pensions, with almost 700 people working across all divisions. It was up from €36.7 in 2014 when there were 667 people on the payroll.
"There was a lot of extra milk processed and we try and keep the head count as low as possible," he said. "Salaries and pay scales are benchmarked so there is a definite structure there." He reported milk supply had surged 13pc with the removal of milk quotas last year, which has helped to drive efficiencies.