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It was a bad year for spuds at the former Donegal Creameries

The company just managed to scrape a profit after a tough 2014.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE FORMER DONEGAL Creameries co-op just managed to scrape together a profit after a tough year for its potato business.

The publicly-listed company, now called the Donegal Investment Group (DIG), recorded a 7% fall in its revenues last year.

The Letterkenny-based group said it had “experienced extremely difficult trading conditions” in its seed potato business last year because of strong European harvests and a weak market for table spuds.

In its preliminary results for last year, DIG also blamed the poor performance of its animal feeds business for the drop in its income and profitability.

It turned an operating profit of €850,000 for the year, down from nearly €3 million in 2013, as part of what analysts called a “disappointing” set of results.

The announcement was enough to wipe about 15% – or nearly €9 million – from the company’s share value this morning, although it later regained almost all that value.

But the company’s chairman, Geoffrey Vance, said DIG had made “exceptional progress” with its Nomadic dairy brand in the UK despite the poor results in other parts of its operations.

DIG changed its name in 2013 from Donegal Creameries, which began life with the merger of several dairy co-ops in the county, after expanding its business from milk into everything from property management to confectionery, potatoes and mushrooms.

READ: Without milk quotas, what will happen to the price of a pint of milk? >

READ: Last year was a seriously good one for some dairy farmers >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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