Consolidated sales of €670 million generated in 2020 were lower than expected by German milk processor Uelzena. A 5 % growth in the raw milk intake in the reporting year meant an additional raw material volume of 39 million kilograms. The total raw milk pool accounted for 687 million kilograms. A further increase over the previous year means that the processing volume is once again the highest in the company’s history. At 31.57 euro cents/kg, Uelzena’s milk price in 2020 fell short of the targets. The milk price was 2.22 euro cents/kg below that of the previous year.
All sites received further investments as part of the Uelzena Group’s modernisation and expansion programme, which resulted in a further increase in the fixed assets. In figures, a total of 144 million euros was reported, which equates to an increase over the previous year of about 30 million euros. The good equity ratio achieved of 38.5 % maintained the previous year’s level.
Sales slump in the instant beverages market
In the reporting year, sales were influenced by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the five main product groups experienced difficult market conditions. The Instant Beverages division, in particular, was severely affected by the lockdown across Europe. Sales in the main product groups dropped by about 17,000 tonnes with only milk powder recording an increase in sales of nearly 1,700 tonnes.
Expansion and modernisation plan
Necessary modernisation and investment measures were implemented at all sites. Construction of the spray drying plant, the subject of detailed plans in the past few years, started in the reporting year. The cornerstone ceremony was able to take place in a small group in the spring of this year. Completion is scheduled for summer 2022. Despite the difficult economic situation of the site in Ratzeburg, the agglomeration plant was also completed and will be commissioned in 2021.