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Revenues up as whey leader Volac goes for growth

This article is powered by Dairy Markets

UK leading whey powder producer Volac has boosted revenues following a period of intense investment, it says in financial results out today (Sept 29).

Turnover for the calendar year ending December 31 2016. was GBP212 million – 7% higher than in 2015 (GBP197 mln).

The increase reflects volume growth, weaker sterling and rising dairy commodity prices, says the company. Profit after tax was unchanged at GFBP9.4 mln. Operating cash flow remained at GBP15.5 mln. In 2015, operating cash flow was GBP21.4 mln, benefiting from one time working capital reductions

There have been “substantial” investments in sustainable growth. Volac invested GBP36.8 mln in fixed assets during the year, an increase of GBP11.0 mln (+43%) over 2015. The major investments included:

  • Completion of the company’s biomass combined heat and power plant, which started production of clean renewable energy during 2016
  • Build of a new spray dryer at our Felinfach site in Wales (pictured above), which also commenced production during 2016.

In other developments, Volac Wilmar Feed Ingredients introduced a range of dry feed fats under the Mega Masterbrand, complementing the group’s established Megalac product. Volac set up a joint venture with Wilmar in 2015.

Chief executive James Neville (pictured) says 2016 was a “solid year for the business in a challenging environment”. And he adds that recent “significant investment” had left the business with high quality assets which will form the foundation of its future performance and growth.

james neville

This includes a new biomass combined heat and power plant at our Felinfach site, which was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in July this year.

The company is also preparing itself for any shocks attendant on the UK leaving the European Union,

The company says it remains confident in the medium-term future of its business and the dairy industry, as demonstrated by its significant investment programme. However, despite recent positive market movements, the prospect of Brexit has introduced significant uncertainty to the environment for the near term.

Neville adds: “During the coming months, we aim to play our part in preparing the UK dairy industry for a much more competitive environment due to the expected exposure to global competition post-Brexit.”

Volac is a privately-owned business, a wholly owned subsidiary of Woodford Holdings Ltd, based near Cambridge. It has seven production facilities: five of them in the UK, one in The Netherlands, and one in Malaysia. 

Volac specialises in four areas:

  • High-performance whey protein for lifestyle and sports nutrition markets
  • Nutritional products and feeding systems for improved productivity in the agricultural market
  • A consumer business delivering the benefits of protein through the Upbeat brand
  • Lactose rich dairy ingredients for food, beverage and animal nutrition manufacturers
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