Muller UK & Ireland Group has recorded a profit before division among members of £16.47m for the year to 31 December 2020 in its latest accounts.
This was a significant rebound on the previous year, when the group had a loss of £76m, which it put down to inflation-raised costs and its investment programme.
Despite a difficult year with the effects of Covid-19 – which saw some farmers forced to dump milk due to collection delays and Muller ask its producers to reduce their milk supply – the group achieved an operating profit of £17m (after a loss of £73m in 2019).
As of 31 December 2020, the partnership had net assets of £324m (£307m in 2019).
In the strategic report, the group said Muller Milk and Ingredients had addressed its structural losses and returned to profitability through restructuring and efficiency programmes across manufacturing and logistics, as well as negotiating sustainable contracts with its major retailers.
It praised the team’s efforts for maintaining supply during the pandemic, although it noted this did result in additional costs, with fluctuations in cream and butter prices also affecting results.
However, the group said these costs were somewhat offset by temporarily higher customer demand and lower prices for some of its key commodities.
The business finished the year strongly and the board expects it to make a full-year profit in 2021.
Meanwhile, Muller Yogurt and Desserts remained stable, with strong growth in the split-pot brands Corners and Bliss being offset by a decline in Mullerlight.