Pretax profit at Manor Farm up more than 60% in 2020

Irish chicken processor will pay €20m dividend to its Swedish parent company

The company behind chicken processor Manor Farm made a pretax profit of €17.8 million in 2020, up 61 per cent on the €11 million recorded the previous year.

Carton Bros Unlimited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Swedish group Scandi Standard, saw its turnover rise almost 8 per cent to €200.9 million last year, up from €186.2 million in 2019. Its after-tax profit arrived at €15.4 million, up from €9.6 million, its latest accounts show.

A €20 million dividend to Scandi Standard was proposed in respect of 2020, amounting to €32.08 per share. No dividend was paid in either 2018 or 2019.

The company, based in Shercock, Co Cavan, employed an average of 1,019 people last year, mostly in production, up slightly on the previous year's workforce.

It said it had been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic “in common with many other businesses” during 2020, with the crisis giving rise to disruption and additional costs.

“Volume sales to food service customers have been adversely affected, but the company has secured additional sales volume to its customers selling products for home consumption,” the directors’ report states.

Avian flu

An outbreak of avian flu in Ireland in December 2020 meant the export of chicken products to South Africa was suspended, it notes.

The directors of the company are Leif Bergvall Hansen, Julia Lagerqvist and Vincent Carton.

After ascertaining that the next generation of the Carton family did not want to take on the business, the Carton brothers – Vincent Carton and Justin Carton – sold the chicken processing company, one of Ireland's largest, to the Swedish group for €70 million in cash and shares in 2017.

Earlier this year, Scandi Standard notified the Stockholm stock exchange that its shareholder Themvar Eight Unlimited – ultimately owned by members of the Carton family and current and former executives in Manor Farm – divested six million shares in the Swedish group at 60.50 Swedish kronor (€6) per share, generating a sum of about €36 million.

Scandi Standard, which employs about 3,000 people, said there had been “a very successful transition in leadership of the Irish business” in 2019 and that Themvar Eight had disposed of its shareholding “for reasons of liquidity and diversification”.