Arrabawn’s record year

Arrabawn resilience and efficiency shows in challenging year for industry as record EBIDTA and Operating Profit achieved

2023 annual report also reveals shareholder funds reach five-year high while net-debt down to pre-expansion levels

Arrabawn Co-op continued its strong year-on-year trajectory over the past five years with a record financial performance across key metrics in 2023, its annual report reveals.

Despite a challenging market across all commodities, the company delivered record EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of €19.1million for 2023. This was up 5.5% on 2022.

The EBIDTA outcome also underscores the return from the company’s record investment programme at its Nenagh processing facility across the past decade, with the performance up 233% on five years ago.

The strong 2023 performance was also reflected in a record Operating Profit of €10.77million which was up €1.19m (12.5%) on 2022.

The company balance sheet was also significantly improved, with shareholders’ funds increased by 11.5m, a 51% increase on five years ago, while net debt brought about by the investment programme is now down from a high of €45m in 2019 to €10.3m last year, a decrease of €13.8m on 2022 and now at pre-expansion levels.

The co-op also delivered a strong milk price of 43.77c/lt, supporting suppliers in an otherwise challenging year of difficult weather conditions and persistently high input costs.

An exceptional item, not recorded in either EBIDTA or Operating Profit, was the profit of €4.3m from the sale of the liquid business in Kilconnell last year.

The company’s Agri Trading Division also continued to grow its customer base across 2023, thanks in no small part to the company’s bonus shares loyalty programme, while other retail division sectors also showed solid growth.

Arrabawn completed a €3m extension to its Dan O’Connor Feeds mill in Limerick in 2023, while the capital expenditure programme also saw investment in the new entrance at its Nenagh headquarters, including new intake and CIP (Cleaning in Place for trucks) areas as well as water and heat recovery.

Commenting on the performance, Arrabawn CEO Conor Ryan said, “After the exceptional year in 2022 for dairy markets, 2023 proved much more challenging with a drop in dairy commodities, in particular. Turnover was down as a result, but the value add from our record investment programme was reflected by the record EBIDTA and Operating profit, both excluding exceptionals. This is a very encouraging outcome. Our single exceptional item was the sale of our Kilconnell facility and we are grateful to the people who worked with us in this business and on the transition. Overall, Arrabawn has achieved high levels of efficiency and sustainability and is well placed for the future.”

Chairman Edward Carr said, “2023 was a challenging year for farmers through weather conditions, input costs and reduction in farm gate returns. However, Arrabawn’s strong performance helped bolster against the worst of this by way of a very competitive milk price. It is also encouraging for our suppliers to see the financial performance of the co-op so strong, including a significant increase in shareholders’ funds. This endorses that the investment put in place is really working for our members.”

Christmas Store Opening Hours
Arrabawn Signpost Farms Update – Week of the 11th of August 2023
Arrabawn Co-op Open Day 24th June

Arrabawn Co-Op are hosting an Agri Information Open day on the 24th of June in Gurteen Agricultural College, from 11am to 2pm. The event is long awaited after a lengthy pause to all shows due various restrictions over the previous 2 years. The event has blossomed and grown since the last similar show in 2019.

The theme of the day is “Efficient, Sustainable, Knowledgeable Farming”. All exhibitors on the day will be showcasing their products and technologies which support this theme. We understand agriculture is an ever-improving sector and striving to meet industry demands. Our aim of the day is to create a space where information is freely available to all who attend. And take home some valuable lessons or create a link with some new businesses to benefit their enterprise.

This year there will be over 65 exhibitors at the event, with some demonstrations on the day also. All aspects of modern-day farming from machinery to seed plots, milk recording to breeding genetics, veterinary to diagnostic laboratories, energy and water heating to financial advice, soil heath to animal monitoring devices will be on display. No stone will be left unturned! The seed plots include some Multi Species Swards, Brassica’s and various grazing pastures. Get up close and see these new pastures up close.

Four very special guest speakers will be present on the day. First up Liam Woulfe, CEO Grassland Agro, second is Conor Mulvihill – Director, Dairy Industry Ireland, Declan Kelliher and Michael Fox from Ornua Ireland, Joe Healy – Chair and Non-executive director at Cultivate and Tom O’Dwyer Head of Sign Post Programme Teagasc. They will give their views on markets, inputs/outputs costs and more, followed by a Q+A session. The farming community will have the chance to ask questions and get some insightful answers into the future of Irish Farming. An opportunity not to be missed!

We are really encouraging all farmers to come along to what is promised to be a great day out. All are welcome to the event; it will be bigger and better than before!

30 Members Make The “Cell Check Top 500 Quality Milk Suppliers”

30 Arrabawn suppliers have achieved a place among the Cell Check Top 500 Quality Milk Suppliers in the country for 2019.

These awards are running for a number of years now and the quality of milk supplied is increasing year on year.

To have achieved a place in the Cell Check Top 500 Quality Milk Suppliers is an indication of the commitment applied to producing quality milk.

Martin CoffeyBallinloughnane, Athenry, Co. Galway
James HennessyWoodfield, Ballycrissane, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
John KellyBallyboggan, Kilconnell, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Kieran KellyKilaltenagh, Via Banagher, Co. Galway
Dermot HealyRossfinch, Ballinahinch, Birdhill, Co. Tipperary
John FoxBallinacregg, Oranmore, Co. Galway
Victor AustinKnocknacree, Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary
Sean GaynorRapla, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Cronan KellyBallinashragh, Lusmagh, Co. Offaly
John & Eamon CashinBallykinagh, Carrig, Birr, Co. Offaly
Brian HayesFinnoe, Carney, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Michael SalmonProspect Demesne, Eyrecourt, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Paddy BurkeKylebeg, Kilbarron, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Noel HarneyFoats, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
John, Gillian & David ArmitageLakeview, Towra, Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary
Patrick HanrahanRamore, Killimor, Ballinasloe, Co. Tipperary
Joseph MounseyElysium, Cloughjordan, Co. Tipperary
Jerry GlynnCorgan View, Lusmagh, Banagher, Co. Offaly
Kevin ConnellKiniska, Claregalway, Co. Galway
Ignatius & Mary GrealishStoneybrook House, Carnmore, Co. Galway
Tom CahillTonemace, Corrandulla, Co. Galway
Gerard & Aidan FordeCorrandulla road, Corranulla, Co. Galway
Pat O SheaFinnanefield, Kilcorney, Rathcoole, Co. Cork
Thomas NooneFohenagh, Ahascragh, Ballinasloe Co. Galway
Michael ShielClonmoylan, Ballyshrule, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
Frank MolloyBallindown, Birr, Co. Offaly
Hugh Thomas KellyEderney House, Lisheenkyle, Athenry, Co. Galway
John RyanGarrytigue, Newport, Co. Tipperary
William O BrienMountain Lodge, Toomevara Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Arrabawn withdraws from IFJ/KPMG milk price review in call for transparency

Exclusion of liquid milk price undermines the review’s fairness

Thursday, 23 July 2020:  The Chairman of Arrabawn, Edward Carr, has called for criteria for the annual milk price review process to be changed in the interest of transparency.

In a letter sent to the co-op’s 1,000 suppliers, Mr Carr said that the board of Arrabawn had unanimously taken the decision not to participate in the programme this year because of the continued exclusion of liquid milk premium.

Mr Carr, from Kilcommon, Co. Tipperary, said that excluding liquid milk from this review discriminates against Arrabawn and its suppliers as it fails to reflect both the true price paid by Arrabawn and the long hours and hard work of those suppliers it ignores.

“It is all the more inequitable when set against the fact that other winter premiums/bonuses are included,” he said, adding that it is not in keeping with best international practice.

The co-op, he said, had no issue whatsoever with KPMG, which conducts the review, but the system set for it. And he said that Arrabawn would look forward to reengaging with the programme once the criteria deliver fairness and transparency.

Mr Carr explained that, having made clear the co-op’s demands for the review to be fully transparent at a meeting in January, it received only minimal engagement by email until July 1 when it was informed that the review would be pressing ahead regardless of its ask to include liquid milk.

Arrabawn, he said, had raised concerns about the review before and the review’s credibility has also been undermined by growing discontent from other organisations over recent years.

“Given all those issues and the very fact that the review process has remained the same for a decade and a half, we believe that the programme needs to be revisited and put right. Being fully inclusive of all price paid is the only way to restore full confidence in the programme.

“In short, our proposal is that the calculation is a simple and fully transparent process; divide the total amount paid to farmers in a year by the litres supplied. To do otherwise discriminates against liquid milk.

“We have processing plants in Kilconnell and Nenagh and do not see any justification for suppliers and the price paid to them to be treated differently. The criteria, therefore, must be changed,” he said.

Mr Carr added: “Record investment has been put in place over the past three years by way of a €50m programme that was completed this year with the finalisation of a new casein and effluent plant. This has been delivered on budget and on schedule so that you, our suppliers, get the return you deserve. That return should not be excluded in the annual milk price review.”

Arrabawn welcomes planning permission for €30m investment programme at Nenagh plant

Tuesday, 13 November 2018: Arrabawn has welcomed the decision by Tipperary County Council to grant permission for works that will facilitate a three year, €30million investment programme at its Nenagh headquarters.

The programme will transform the site into a world-class manufacturing facility and is the largest round of investment every undertaken by Arrabawn.

It will double capacity at the plant, delivering up to 20 new jobs in the process as Arrabawn increases its employment levels at the plant to 100, up from 60 eight years ago.

A key element of the programme will be the relocation of the entrance to the Martyr’s Road round-about side of the plant from its current Stafford Street access.  The state-of-the-art new access will be facilitated by the demolition of two disused buildings acquired by Arrabawn, the Railway Bar on Kenyon Street and the old Sutton’s Yard site on Stafford Street.

The new, streamlined access will remove the vast majority of co-op bound heavy and light goods vehicles from Stafford and Kenyon Street junction, relieving much of the traffic congestion in this area.  Furthermore, the plans will also see the development of a new footpath on Stafford Street to run along by the Arrabawn site.

On the production side, the investment will also include a casein plant extension that will increase processing capacity by 50%, as well as the completion of the upgrade works to the new effluent plant that commenced last year.

The programme is a continuation of the €22m eight-year programme of investment that has seen Arrabawn transformed into a modern, international standard dairy processing operation.  It also in keeping with the company’s status as a major employment creator and investor in Nenagh, following on from its €1.5million development of its purpose built, flagship retail store at Tyone.

Said Arrabawn CEO Conor Ryan, “The granting of planning permission is welcome news for ourselves but also for the town of Nenagh and, indeed, our suppliers. This investment underpins Arrabawn’s future, ensuring we have a state-of-the-art plant that applies the very latest, environmentally sustainable technologies and one that is also market competitive.

“The programme is also a boost for the local economy and ensures that our suppliers are supported by a modern, fit-for-purpose processing operation that will help secure their future also.”

The Arrabawn CEO said that the new access to the co-op will be hugely beneficial to both the company and town.

“The redevelopment and relocation of our main access is hugely important as the status quo is not satisfactory from a traffic management perspective, either for us or the town.  This will eliminate the current traffic congestion and also deliver a much-improved visual aspect for Nenagh, taking out two disused buildings and replacing them with an architecturally impressive entrance.”