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Dairy records $3.3m profit


Dairy records $3.3m profit

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AMID CONCERNS that agriculture is not contributing enough to the economy, Barbados’ lone commercial dairy has made its largest profit in several years.

Barbados Dairy Industries Limited, better known as Pine Hill Dairy (PHD), earned a $3.3 million profit by the end of its financial year on August 31 last year. This is a major turnaround for the company, which is now owned by Brazil beverage giant AmBev.

The improvement and concerns related to PHD’s future were discussed when the company held its annual general meeting last Friday.

The profit comes following a significantly smaller one of $217 684 in 2014 and a $1.6 million loss in 2013.

Immediate past chairman Anthony King and director Richard Cozier, who is managing director of PHD’s immediate parent Banks Holdings Limited, shared the news with shareholders in the company’s 2015 annual report.

“The company achieved encouraging results for the year ended August [31], 2015; revenues grew by approximately $1.5 million (2.5 per cent) with profit from operations exceeding $3.3 million. This represents a significant improvement over the previous year and demonstrates the strategies deployed over the past 24 months are now delivering positive returns,” they said.

The officials were “particularly pleased with this ‘turnaround’ as it is being achieved in an economic environment that continues to display negligible growth”.

It was also pointed out that “apart from the revenue gains, the results were substantially influenced by meaningful improvements across all our production processes”.

“We have spoken about this in previous reports and the focus on continual improvement is manifesting itself in improved efficiencies and lower operating costs in general.

“This process is ongoing and we expect further gains in both elements going forward,” King and Cozier said.

Even as they voiced pleasure at PHD’s turnaround, though, the officials highlighted the need for the implementation of a special project to improve the dairy industry.

They said the effective date of the dairy assistance initiative involving Government was due to have started on August 1 last year, but implementation was deferred.

“We have not been advised of the new date for such. This initiative is critical for the future of the industry as it provides confidence in the importance of the industry and this will lead to investment in the future.”

In terms of what helped PHD to improve, an increased focus on exports “aided performance as actual volumes in 2015 more than offset the decline in domestic volumes”.

But King and Cozier also noted that “total revenue for the dairy category fell short of expectations, primarily as a result of disappointing sales of single serve flavoured milks and evaporated milk, the latter being impacted by the residual effect of a product recall in the latter part of the previous financial year”.

In terms of juices, PHD’s overall juice performance “saw both the 250 millilitres and one litre package sizes growing, led primarily by growth in the export markets”. (SC)

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