Strong European markets helped the Dairy Goat Co-operative grow its revenue to $193 million last season, a $16m increase on the previous season.
Outgoing DGC chief executive Tony Giles said the performance was in line with the co-op’s growth over the past four to five years and it was a result of heavy investment in market development around the globe.
“It’s gradually going through to our top line now.”
He said the revenue could have been higher if it was not for the effects of the exchange rate.
“It’s volume, growth with new markets and market development around the world.”
Giles announced he was stepping down as chief executive at the co-op’s annual meeting this month.
“It’s been 18 years at the co-op, it’s been a hell of a great ride, we have grown fantastically and I have been able to grow personally as well. It’s been one of those times in life when I have decided to make a life decision and step aside.
“It’s been a third of my life, which is quite a big chunk of it.”
The co-op board has started the recruitment process for a new chief executive and a replacement was expected to be found early next year.
The meeting also saw shareholders vote to appoint PGG Wrightson chief executive Mark Dewdney as the third independent director to the co-operative’s board.
The co-op sources goat milk from 72 shareholder suppliers in Northland, Waikato and Taranaki. More than 200 staff are employed at its Hamilton base.
DGC specialises in developing, manufacturing and marketing its own brand of goat milk nutritional powders for infants and children. The products are exported to more than 20 countries.
Shareholder-suppliers provided 5.5 million kilograms of milk solids last year, which was twice the co-op’s production since a new dryer was built in 2014.
Key areas of growth over the past few years have been in Europe.
Giles said the co-op had new and emerging markets including Spain, France, United kingdom, Germany, Poland, Greece and Turkey.
“It’s a really big part of the growth that’s underpinning the co-op right now and will do in the future.”
Long standing markets in Asia were also performing well, he said.
He expected the growth to continue this season.
A wet spring meant had been challenging so far for the co-op’s farmers, but had not affected milk production too badly.
“We’re roughly at the same level as last year.”
Last season, the co-op paid its farmers $18.50/kg of milk solids. Giles said the co-op had indicated the payout would be $18/kg and would update their farmers on this season’s payout in the New Year.