The Glanbia group navigated the Covid-19 pandemic well, with the business portfolio delivering a resilient performance in 2020, according to its preliminary results for the year.
It had a solid top line with revenue of €3,823.1 million, compared to €3,875.7 million in 2019, up 0.6 per cent.
Like-for-like revenue grew by 1.8 per cent on the previous year.
There was a robust performance from Glanbia Nutritionals, which drove like-for-like revenue growth of 10 per cent constant currency on prior year.
Glanbia Performance Nutrition, impacted by Covid-19 restrictions, particularly in Q2, delivered like-for-like revenue decline of 13.3 per cent.
Profit after tax for the year was €143.8 million, down from €180.2 million in 2019, with exceptional items after tax of €31.5 million, less than the 2019 figure of €34.6 million.
Group said it was in a strong financial position with net debt reduced by €120.4 million versus the previous year to €493.9 million.
Siobhán Talbot, Group Managing Director, said: “I am exceptionally proud of how our people responded to the many challenges of Covid-19.
“Throughout the pandemic, we lived our purpose and our values, delivering essential, nutritious food during the most challenging of circumstances and proving the resilience of our business.
“We delivered on our priorities of protecting our people, continuing the supply of food and maintaining our strong financial position.
“We kept our operations running safely with the aid of enhanced health and safety measures.
“Our business portfolio delivered a robust operating performance supported by our swift and decisive actions which resulted in improving trends across the group in the second half of the year.
“Our focused approach to liquidity resulted in cash conversion of over 122 per cent and our financial position has improved materially with net debt reducing by over €120 million during the course of 2020.
“We also maintained delivery of our strategic agenda by making significant progress on GPN’s transformation programme; keeping all major projects on track, which included the completion of construction of two new large-scale JV plants; completing the Foodarom acquisition in GN; and launching a €50 million share buyback programme to enhance shareholder returns whilst maintaining our dividend level.
“This pandemic is by no means over and we remain vigilant in managing the risks associated with it but we are confident that earnings growth will be restored in 2021.”
In 2020 like-for-like wholly-owned revenues grew by 1.8 per cent, on a constant currency basis.
GN delivered a good performance versus prior year as the majority of its end-market demand was sustained throughout 2020 and it continued to execute its strategic growth agenda.
GPN was impacted by Covid-19 related restrictions which caused significant disruption to international markets and the North American specialty and distributor channels.
Ms Talbot went on: “However, we maintained our focus on the key transformation programme with revenue and margin trends both improving in the second half of the year. Our full year adjusted EPS was down 14.9 per cent on a constant currency basis versus prior year as a good start to 2020 was severely impacted by Covid-19 in the second quarter but improved market conditions and focused actions drove a sequential improvement in earnings in the second half of 2020.”