Friday 24 November 2017

Talbot continues Glanbia's operation transformation with co-op plan

Glanbia chief executive Siobhan Talbot
Glanbia chief executive Siobhan Talbot
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Glanbia is on the cusp of what will another major milestone in its transformation from a dairy co-op to a global food and nutrition business.

The plc's planned Glanbia Ireland venture with Glanbia Co-Op will be headed by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland boss Jim Bergin.

Aside from being a major cheese producer in the United States, Kilkenny-headquartered Glanbia has become a major global player in the nutritional foods sector.

Last year, for the first time, its Glanbia Performance Nutrition (GPN) division breached the €1bn revenue mark, generating earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) of €162.6m, a 16.1pc increase in 2015. Its products include everything from protein smoothies and energy bars to sports drinks.

Glanbia's Nutritions division is still its biggest - with revenue last year of €1.2bn and EBITA of €111.8m. It's the biggest maker of American-style cheddar cheese in the United States.

Last month, Glanbia announced plans to open a huge $425m cheese and whey production facility in Michigan. It will own 50pc of the venture, with the remainder owned by three US co-ops. It also has a joint venture in the US called Southwest Cheese that is also a partnership with co-ops.

Glanbia chief executive Siobhan Talbot told the Irish Independent that creating the Glanbia Ireland venture would enable the plc to focus on its GPN and nutritions units.

She said the company was hugely optimistic about GPN.

"That optimism would span across our ingredients and brand portfolio," she said, adding that the consumer theme of health and wellness is a major growth platform, forecast to be worth $1trn this year.

"Convenience is a huge factor. All of our formats such as bars are very much playing on trend. Our products as an ingredient player and brand owner, are very much playing to that connectivity of health wellness with active lifestyle," said Ms Talbot.

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