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Fine weather helps Origin to 2.4pc jump in operating profits

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Tom O'Mahony, CEO of Origin

Tom O'Mahony, CEO of Origin

Tom O'Mahony, CEO of Origin

Agri-services group Origin Enterprises has posted a 2.4pc increase in operating profit for the year ending July 31, helped by good weather.

The group, of which Swiss food giant Aryzta is the majority owner, also announced a 15.9 pc increase in proposed dividend.

"Weather had a favourable impact, it created ideal planting and growing conditions which allowed a recovery of winter cropping in particular in the UK, coming off a very low base from fiscal 2013," chief executive Tom O'Mahony told the Irish Independent.

"It was reflective of a more normal demand year for inputs and services," he added.

"We have over the past two to three years been on a programme of consolidation and transformation of a series of acquisitions in the on-farm agronomy services space, and I think that programme came through very evidently in the results this year… It's a record year, that's the way I would describe it." Mr O'Mahony said.

The company's agri-services division saw its operating profit increase by 15.4pc, a performance Mr O'Mahony described as excellent.

But the group's share of profits from associates and joint ventures fell almost 40pc after it sold a 50pc interest in a marine proteins and oils business to Norwegian company Austevoll Seafood.

The group's revenue from agri-services fell 3.3pc on a like-for-like basis, a drop it attributed mainly to lower fertiliser and seed prices.

Mr O'Mahony said the group would "look to investment opportunities to roll out the model we have established in our core markets in the UK and Ireland into other geographies, Europe mainly, Central and Eastern Europe".

"Acquisitions would be part of that," he added.

Indo Business