Norco Co-operative Ltd chairman Greg McNamara.
Norco Co-operative Ltd chairman Greg McNamara. Marc Stapelberg

Norco makes record profit

NORCO Co-operative returned a record net profit of $4.2 million in the 2010/11 financial year.

The figure represents an increase of 61% on the previous year's $2.6 million profit.

Norco chairman Greg McNamara said the multi-million dollar profit was testament to the strength of the co-op's brand.

It was earned at a time in which supermarkets had heavily discounted generic brand milk.

"It shows how resilient the Norco brand is. It is recognised by the broader community," he said.

"(Consumers) are sticking with the Norco brand."

The growth related to growing volumes of milk being supplied into the fresh milk market.

About 50% of Norco's milk went into the domestic milk market under the Norco label, while much of the remainder was sold into generic brands.

Last year's average price of 51.84 cents per litre paid to members was slightly lower than the previous year.

The net profit of $4.2 million was a significant improvement on the $2.3 million result in 2009/10.

Mr McNamara said profits went back into the pockets of farmers or into growing the co-op.

Total sales revenue was a steady $351.5 million.

Mr McNamara said Norco's Lismore-based ice-cream business had attracted new clients and benefited from fewer competitors in the market.

Rural Retail and Agribusiness trading results were affected by the continuing difficult economic and environmental conditions, Mr McNamara said.

Total milk intake from members remained steady for the second consecutive year at 148.6 million litres, but the testing weather conditions did mean the co-operative purchased in more milk than the previous year.

Productivity on farm was also relatively stable despite the difficult conditions, with the average Norco farm supplying 851,000 litres per annum.

A total of $8.8 million in debt had also been repaid over three years.

Mr McNamara said the co-operative was exploring further international expansion.


About Norco

  • Norco Co-operative Limited was established in 1895 and is based in Lismore.
  • It has 283 active members.
  • Revenues were $351 million last financial year.
  • It is a dairy-based co-operative with 161 supplying farms.
  • It has business units of Norco Foods, Rural Retail/Agribusiness.
  • Norco is the manufacturer of a range of dairy products including milk, cheese and ice cream.
  • It also retails a diverse range of agricultural products across NSW and Queensland.
  • It is a manufacturer of stockfeeds and pet foods in both NSW and Queensland.

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