Business Person of the Month May 2020: Mark Turley, founder of family agribusiness ClonBio

Business Person of the Month | Wed 3 Jun | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: Mark Turley, founder and executive chairman, ClonBio

Entrepreneur Mark Turley founded agribusiness ClonBio in 2008 as a family enterprise, with the aim of investing in renewable technologies

Entrepreneur Mark Turley founded agribusiness ClonBio in 2008 as a family enterprise, with the aim of investing in renewable technologies. This came after a string of successes with his leading car dealerships in Dublin, and his substantial property portfolio. He currently acts as the group’s executive chairman.

ClonBio’s main asset is a biorefinery, Pannonia Bio, in Hungary. It is situated close to its corn feedstock source in the crop growing regions, and is a European leader in developing sustainable bioproducts from grain, including renewable ethanol (supplying about 10% of the EU ethanol market), GMO-free high-protein, DDGS and corn oil, and also functions as an incubator for bioproducts.

Today, renewable ethanol replaces a large proportion of unsustainable fossil fuel used in internal combustion engines vehicles.

Beyond Covid-19, ClonBio’s outlook for our increasingly diverse business is positive, and we are currently progressing an investment programme of over €150m across a range of existing and new product areas

The group reported a 143% jump in profit before tax in 2019. This marks a stark increase from €39m in 2018 to €95m. Turnover for the year rose by 26% to €361m.

Pannonia Bio was recently designated an ‘essential company’ by the Hungarian government. As a direct result of Covid-19, there has been a reduced demand for ethanol as a biofuel, and increased demand as an alcohol component in hand sanitisers and other disinfectants.

ClonBio invested over €65m during the year 2019, marking the first phase of a three-year, €150m investment programme. Speaking about ClonBio’s recent gains, Turley said: “Beyond Covid-19, ClonBio’s outlook for our increasingly diverse business is positive, and we are currently progressing an investment programme of over €150m across a range of existing and new product areas, most notably in solar and in innovative products and materials that are entirely new to Europe’s markets.

“ClonBio’s continuing investment and diversification strategy means that our group may be a very different business in five years’ time, albeit one that will retain environmental sustainability at its core.”

The agribusiness group said it has supplied the market with enough product to supply each of the EU’s 460 million citizens with one 100ml bottle of disinfectant.

Business & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business Person the MonthBusiness & Finance, in association with KPMG, rewards excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award. This award seeks to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and, particularly, those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.