Milco milks over Rs. 15 m through online orders

State-owned milk producer Milco (Pvt.) Ltd. has made a massive volume of online sales within the initial hours of the launch of its website last Wednesday (1), according to the company.

On its official Facebook page, the company wrote that it has received over 6,200 orders worth Rs. 15 million within five hours since the launch of its website and thanked Highland Milk customers for placing faith in its products.

A sales dashboard attached to the post noted Highland Butter – Salted as the top-selling product with 9,879 units being sold.

However, as of Friday (3), the Milco website stopped accepting online orders as their daily delivery quota had reached its limit of over 8,000-plus orders for the day, and requested the consumers to visit the site tomorrow (6).

“We are doing this to enable our team to serve you efficiently, minimising inconveniences,” the website further noted.

Online buying had faced a significant hit a few weeks ago with the curfew being imposed all over the country to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) locally. Subsequently, sellers and health officials recommend online purchases and card payments instead of face-to-face and cash transactions to maintain social distancing.

Milco has 20% market share of yogurt products, 60% market share in liquid milk, 15% in ice cream, 5% in curd products, 22% in condensed milk, 30% in butter, and 12% in milk powder. Milco dairy products are sold in the market under the trade name of “Highland” and its products are made using milk sourced from local dairy farmers.

Milco was established in 1956 as “The National Milk Board” under the Colombo Plan and was under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture. Three decades later, the Board was converted to “Milk Industries of Lanka Company Ltd.”, which was then named Milco (Pvt.) Ltd. in 2001.

In August 2017, Milco commissioned a new milk powder processing plant, enhancing their processing capacity from 210,000 to 410,000 litres per day. Milco aims to increase the raw milk collection progressively up to 122 million litres via local dairy farmers by 2021, and this move is expected to save millions of foreign currency reserves of Sri Lanka.

In 2018, Milco made a turnover of Rs. 11.4 billion. However, the losses for the year were worth Rs. 820 million compared to the Rs. 324 million in losses after tax a year ago. Non-current liabilities of Milco in 2018 was Rs. 16.3 billion.

In 2018, Milco’s milk collection for the year was 91.1 million litres, and 6.6 million kg of milk powder were produced while liquid milk production amounted to 22.3 million litres.