Saturday 24 February 2018

Aryzta and Origin both produce bumper crop as revenue rises


Siobhan Creaton

The strong performances of the agri and food sectors have helped to boost the fortunes of bakery firm Aryzta and the agri-services company Origin Enterprises where it is the biggest shareholder.

In a trading statement Aryzta, which was formerly part of the IAWS group, reported it had doubled its output as a result of acquisitions which have resulted in a 55pc rise in food revenues in the nine months to the end of April last. The group's total revenues rose by 60pc to €1.9bn, it said yesterday, and it expects to bring a strong set of full-year numbers in line with market expectations. Aryzta chief executive Owen Killian said the company was "encouraged" by the underlying revenue trends that showed modest growth and reflected a fragile recovery in consumer activity in most markets.

"Earnings guidance provided at the half-year results still appears reasonable," he said.

The last nine months have seen continued inflation in food raw material with increasing weather-related concerns about this year's harvest. It is working closely with its customers to mitigate the impact, according to Aryzta. Apart from the boost from acquisitions, Aryzta said it had seen the upward trend in underlying revenue growth maintained across the group's markets.


Meanwhile, Origin Enterprises also put in a good performance. The company, which has interests in food, marine and oils, also said it was on course to deliver positive results for 2011.

In a trading update Origin reported a 4.3pc rise in revenues to €370m in the nine months to the end of April last bringing its total revenues for the year so far to €939m, up 15pc. The third-quarter boost was due to the strong performance of the farming sector, it said. The outlook for the fourth quarter remains positive, it said, and Origin was comfortable with consensus market estimates that earnings per share would increase by 10pc to 41c.

Its on-farm services, which operate under the Masstock banner in the UK and Dalgety in Poland, performed strongly in the past three months boosted by increased autumn plantings last year and strong output prices. Drought conditions in the UK and northern Europe have impacted on crop yields and grass growth but operations have been successfully responding to these issues, it stated.

In Ireland, fertiliser volumes were marginally lower than in the same period last year as perfect grass growing conditions led to reduced fertiliser application. Food ingredients volumes were also lower. Origin, which is listed on the ESM and AIM markets in Dublin and London, said its strategic interests in Valeo Foods and Welcon Invest also fared well.

Notwithstanding the very challenging environment for consumers, Valeo continues to record sustained month-on-month performances. The integration of Origin Foods and Batchelors is progressing well, it added.

Continued strong demand for fishmeal and fish oil is expected to remain strong for the remainder of the financial year, the company said.

Irish Independent

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