April 2013: John Moloney, group managing director, Glanbia

Business Person of the Month | Mon 20 May | Author – Business & Finance
John Moloney

One of the country’s lead food producers, Glanbia has just announced it is set to create 1,600 new jobs at a new dairy facility. The driving force behind this move is group managing director, John Moloney.


Global food producer Glanbia is set to create up to 1,600 new jobs, through both direct employment and support positions, at a major new dairy facility in the south east. The plant at Belview, on the border between Kilkenny and Waterford, will be worth an estimated €400 million to the domestic dairy sector and will create the new jobs by 2018.

Leading food brand

Glanbia, as it is today, was formed in 1997 out of the merger of Avonmore Foods and Waterford Foods and is currently the biggest producer of cheddar cheese in the US, a major player in the global nutrition industry and continues to be a leader in consumer foods and agribusiness through its Irish operations and leading brand such as Avonmore, Kilmeaden, CMP and Premium Milk. The Group also has a number of strategic joint ventures based in Ireland, the UK, the US and Nigeria.

Of the announcement, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the investment was “a massive vote of confidence in Ireland and our agri-food sector”.

Construction at the facility is to begin on May 17th and is targeted for completion in spring 2015.


John Moloney was appointed group managing director of Glanbia in July 2001, after four years on the Board. He joined the international cheese and nutritional ingredients group in 1987 and was appointed deputy group managing director in 2000 and assumed the responsibilities of chief operating officer in 2001, at a time when Glanbia was one of the worst-performing companies on the ISEQ. In 1999, the company was forced to leave the UK liquid milk sector. In 2002, with Moloney at the helm, the firm shut down its UK cooked meats business and sold its UK cheese operations. Moloney set about rationalising the Irish operation and streamlining the business to cut costs, and focusing the growth strategy around US cheese and global nutritionals.

Following the successful acquisition in August 2008 of US-based performance nutrition company, Optimum Nutrition Inc, Glanbia cemented its position as a major player in the global nutrition industry. This was followed by the purchase of Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition (BSN) in 2011 and Aseptic Solutions in 2012.  Previously, Glanbia acquired California-based nutritional business Seltzer Companies for around €82mn at the end of 2006.

In December 2012, more than 83% of Glanbia co-op members voted in favour of a deal to reduce the co-op’s shareholding in Glanbia plc to 41%. The vote was the third and final vote in a complex deal which saw the Glanbia Co-op members approve the establishment of a new joint venture between the plc and the Society, which is the largest dairy processing business in Ireland processing 30% of Irelands milk pool into ingredients.  This new joint venture is known as Glanbia Ingredients Ireland Ltd.

In March this year, Glanbia announced its full year results, with a record 22% growth for the year ending December 2012.

The company reported revenue of €2.88bn for 2012, a substantial increase on 2011, driven by a strong performance in Glanbia’s global nutritionals division.

“The Group delivered strong organic revenue growth and a 22.1% increase in adjusted earnings per share; the third consecutive year of double digit progression,” Moloney said.

Prior to joining Glanbia, Moloney worked with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and in the meat industry in Ireland. He is a non-executive director of Greencore, DCC plc and a council member of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC).

Moloney was educated at Summerhill College in Sligo, and at UCD, NUI Galway  and the University of Navarra, Barcelona. He holds a Degree in Agricultural Science as well as an MBA.


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Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been rewarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.