Arrabawn Co-op has reported an operating profit of €2.1m for 2015 which Chairman Sean Monahan has said is "largely down to astute investment in new technology and efficiencies over the past five years".

The positive results were also achieved in the context of the co-op processing record milk volumes for its 102 year history, with 353m litres handled, up 46m litres on 2014.

According to the co-op, a combination of greater efficiencies, thanks to capital investments of €40m over the past five years, and milk price supports enabled Arrabawn to limit the impact on its suppliers of a significant downturn in global commodity prices, with an average milk price of 30.3c/L achieved.

Extensive capital expenditure of €9.1m in 2015 to meet increased volumes resulted in debt levels rising from €9.25m to €15.8m, the co-op reported.

Meanwhile, fuel and power costs dropped by 9%, which Arrabawn attributes in large part to the natural gas connection.

The company’s agri-trading division also performed strongly, with feed volumes up 10%, increasing turnover by 2%.

Arrabawn CEO Conor Ryan said that despite what has been an extremely difficult year for dairying, Arrabawn has still managed to deliver a very solid performance.

"Profit levels of €2.1m were more than solid, not least in the context of the difficult environment, and we were able at the same time to support our farmers on milk price, an important intervention in an otherwise very challenging year for our shareholders.

"The co-op’s balance sheet is very solid, with total capital and reserves going from €42m to €44m, further underlining the strong performance."

Arrabawn Chairman Sean Monahan, said that the ongoing investment programme will continue to deliver for the co-ops suppliers through what is a turbulent period for the industry.

"The year ahead is going to present further challenges but the co-op remains on a strong footing and well positioned to deliver for its shareholders."