IDB surplus tops €29m
The Irish Dairy Board (IDB) is set to announce a retained surplus of close to €29m for last year, more than doubling the figure for the previous year.
The impressive performance has taken many in the dairy sector by surprise, given the poor state of world dairy markets over the last 18 months.
IDB's retained surplus for 2008 dropped to €13.2m as the board lost heavily on stocks of stored dairy produce, which collapsed in value as a result of the global downturn.
However, the dairy marketing body appears to have steadied matters, despite last year's difficult trading environment.
Given that the retained IDB surplus for 2007 was €26.1m, last year's results confirm the board has returned to 'pre-slump' profit levels.
One industry source said the IDB's performance illustrated that it was often easier for dairy companies to hold a margin in falling markets.
"You can sometimes hold onto more of your margin when prices are on the way down than you can when prices are rising," he said.
Last year was a disastrous year for milk suppliers and processors, with poor prices and atrocious weather eroding farmer margins.