Bega Cheese’s lifted revenue 39% to $2.07bn in FY21, raising EBITDA 38% to $147.1m. Net debt rose 41% to $324.9m, up from $231m in FY20 with the increase mainly attributed to Bega’s acquisition of Lion Dairy & Drinks, capital, and software investment. Earnings per share lifted to 27.3c per share, up from 9.9c per share the year prior.
Bega executive chairman Barry Irvin said the processor’s purchase of Lion Dairy & Drinks more than doubled the company in size; in terms of annualised revenue to $3bn. Bega now employs over 4,000 people and has one of the largest cold chain distribution networks in the country. With the Lion acquisition, Bega expanded its branded food portfolio with growth recorded across most categories, the strongest for plant-based milk (+20.2%), milk-based beverages (+5.6%), creams and custards (+5.5%) and yoghurt (+4.7%). Bega experienced softening demand for infant formula due to changes in the Chinese market as consumer preferences shifted and the Daigou channel weakened.
For 2022, Bega will continue to focus on unlocking value through growth of the combined complementary portfolios of branded products in domestic and export markets, and by achieving costs synergy benefits from the Lion Dairy & Drinks acquisition in the year ahead.