Milcobel posts strong 2021 results

Profits on top of higher milk price, post payment of €0.9/hl and 4% dividend proposalas a result of successful Phoenix strategy

Milcobel has been completing an impressive improvement trajectory in 2021, which is reflected in a positive operating result benefiting the cooperative's member dairy farmers.

In 2021, the Phoenix strategy, an elaborate company transformation and the Compass savings plan have resulted in a strong increase of the standard milk price with €15.5, or +57% compared to December 2020 (in comparison with an increase in the Belgian market of +37% according to BCZ), a cooperative refund of €0.90 per 100 liters of milk delivered* and a proposal for dividend distribution of 4% that will be submitted to the General Assembly.

Milcobel’s standard milk price is once again competitive at the Belgian and European levels. With its Phoenix strategy, Milcobel is striving to achieve an above-average milk price. The 2021 results inspire confidence that this level will be achieved faster than planned.

Despite challenges such as COVID, rising inflation and a turbulent milk supply market in Belgium, Milcobel realized a turnover of €1.14 billion and a consolidated net profit of €10.7 million in 2021, on top of the higher milk price and cooperative contribution it pays to its member dairy farmers. The net profit is harnessed to strengthen shareholders' equity. Solvency increased from 25.5% in 2020 to 28% in 2021. In 2021, net debt decreased by €40 million on top of the already realized decrease of €26 million in 2020. This has resulted in a record low leverage ratio of 2.8.**

All in all, a result that inspires trust for the future.

The 7.7% turnover decrease compared to 2020 reflects the discontinuation of the negatively valorized milk production activity at Schoten, the effect of bad weather on the volume of ice cream sold and the lower milk supply. All business units achieved greatly improved profitability. The €40 million turnover realized by cheese grater specialist Kaasbrik, acquired at the end of June 2021, is only half consolidated in the result.

Additionally, the organization's widely supported Compass savings plan, which envisions a €50 million reduction by 2025, is well ahead of schedule. In 2021 alone, the plan produced savings of €41 million, over double the ambition for the first year.

The strategic shift in product mix towards products with more added value and a higher valorization resulted in a volume growth in added value products of 10%.


In the context of maximum valorization, Milcobel is focusing on innovation throughout all its business units.

Innovations in Consumer Products & Services capitalize on the trend of increased home consumption of cheese at all times of the day, and the increasing demand for sustainably produced products. New to the market were the Brugge grater, the CO2 neutral Brugge Cheese, e-free cheese, and our recyclable and recycled packaging. Brugge Kaas grew twice as fast as the Belgian market, thereby confirming its position as the market leader in hard and semi-hard cheese in Belgium. We additionally launched a successful new brand - Eigen Bodem Kaas, a.k.a. Homegrown Cheese - further contributing to an increased growth of the percentage of Belgian Cheese consumed, and fueling pride in homegrown products.

The acquisition of cheese grater specialist Kaasbrik not only entailed additional added value for Dairy Premium Ingredients, but also a strengthening of Milcobel's position as one of the leading companies active in the mozzarella ingredients cheese business. In doing so, Milcobel has built up a solid position in growth market Asia. Other than that, Dairy Premium Ingredients posted strong growth numbers with high-quality milk powders for applications in baby food and the recombining industry (evaporated milk, etc.).

Harnessing the power of its solid international client base and customer loyalty, YSCO developed 300 new ice cream references in 2021, thereby solidifying its position as #2 in private label ice cream in Europe.

Audited figures approved by the Board of Directors

  • Turnover: € 1.14 B
  • Net profit after tax: €10.7 MM
  • Net debt decrease: -€40 MM
  • Record-low leverage: 2,8**
  • Solvency: 28%
  • Standard milk price for member dairy farmers increased by 57% compared to December 2020 compared to 37% for the Belgian market (Source BCZ)
  • Cooperative return to members (a.k.a. post-payment): €0.90/hl*
  • Dividend proposal to General Meeting: 4%


*For member dairy farmers not in their notice period. ​

** Leverage is defined as interest-bearing debt relative to REBITDA


Note to editors: all figures in this press release have been audited by PwC and approved by the Milcobel Board of Directors




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About Milcobel

Milcobel is one of the largest dairy cooperatives in Belgium, representing about 35% of Belgian dairy farmers. In 2021, Milcobel processed 1.4 billion liters of milk from 2000 member dairy farmers. In 7 production sites in Belgium and France, it produces high quality dairy products, such as cheese, butter, cream, milk powder, ice cream and whey. 

Next to its own successful consumer brands (Brugge Cheese, Nazareth, Brigand, INCOLAC...), Milcobel produces private label consumer products for the retail sector as well as premium ingredients for professional customers in the food industry.


Fabriekstraat 141 9120 Kallo Belgium

+32 (0)3 730 18 00

[email protected]