Thursday 22 March 2018

Agri-food group Origin blames weather and acquisitions as revenues fall by €54m

Origin said operating profit fell to €67.3m this year, compared to €78.9m in 2015
Origin said operating profit fell to €67.3m this year, compared to €78.9m in 2015

Sean Duffy

Irish agri-food group Origin Enterprises has announced that the group's revenues fell by €54.3m in the year to the end of July, due to adverse weather conditions, currency fluctuations and acquisitions made by the firm over the course of the year.

There was an overall decline in adjusted earnings per share of 25.9pc to €44.51 per share.

Origin's revenues grew to €1.5bn from €1.4bn in 2015, but the company cited the challenging environment in the agri sector as the main reason for the overall decline, saying the results reflect "the impact of lower input prices and crop marketing volumes."

The company said operating profit fell to €67.3m this year, compared to €78.9m in 2015. When currency fluctuations are factored in, the overall operating profit fell by €21.9m.

Cash reserves declined to €3.1m in 2016, down substantially from the €88.8m figure recorded for last year. "Pressure on farm incomes and cash flow led to highly competitive trading conditions and lower demand across a variety of market sectors", Origin said.

It noted that its seed and nutrition output grew over the course of the year, in spite of the challenging market conditions. The company insisted the merger of Dalgety and Kazgo Group would allow the newly formed Agrii Polska brand to become a market leader in the Polish agri food sector. Kazgod was acquired by the company in August of last year for a fee of €22m.

Origin also purchased two Romanian agri-businesses last year for a combined €54m. Origin said that the two firms had made "excellent maiden contributions in the period".

The Origin board recommended a dividend payment of 21pc per ordinary share, which is to be ratified by at the company's AGM in November. Origin shares were up by over 3pc in Dublin yesterday.

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