Meat plant being picketed by farmers posts over €3m profit

Accounts for Slaney Foods and Irish Country Meats reveal healthy returns for processors

The directors’ report noted they are ‘satisfied with the results for the period and are confident that the group will continue to trade profitably in the coming year’. File photograph: Bloomberg

The directors’ report noted they are ‘satisfied with the results for the period and are confident that the group will continue to trade profitably in the coming year’. File photograph: Bloomberg

 

One of the meat processing plants being picketed by farmers in a protest over beef prices is part of a group that recorded pretax profits of more than €3 million last year.

Consolidated accounts for the Slaney Foods and Irish Country Meats businesses show that holding firm Wexford Beef & Lamb Unlimited Company (WBL) recorded a €3.12 million pretax profit after revenues totalled €339.6 million in the 12 months to the end of last September.

A picket was mounted on the Slaney Foods plant near Bunclody in Co Wexford on Tuesday night.

The WBL business has since 2016 been jointly owned by Larry Goodman’s ABP Food Group Unlimited and the Northern Ireland-based Linden Foods. The numbers employed by WBL last year totalled 972 with staff costs amounting to more than €33.1 million.

The profits for the holding company last year take account of combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation of €5 million. The WBL business recorded a gross profit of €76.12 million after cost of sales totalled €263.48 million. Distribution costs totalling €52.76 million and administrative expenses amounted to €19.9 million, resulting in an operating profit of €3.4 million.

‘Trade profitably’

According to the directors’ report attached to the first set of accounts filed by WBL, “the directors are satisfied with the results for the period and are confident that the group will continue to trade profitably in the coming year”.

The firm operates meat procurement and processing facilities at Camolin and Bunclody in Co Wexford, Navan in Co Meath and Liege in Belgium.

The directors state that “a hard Brexit has the potential to adversely impact the group’s industry. The board of directors have strategically and financially considered the impact this may have on the group and have put provisions in place to manage this”.

On the group’s future developments, the report states that “the group aims to maintain and grow its market share and research additional ways to add further value to meat and its byproducts”.