Food group Origin reports profit increase

Food business Origin Enterprises - owner of brands including Roma and Odlums - today reported operating profits of €75.7m for the year ended July 31, up 6.7% on last year's figure of €70.9m.

Total revenue for the year was €1.5bn, unchanged from 2008. The food business, however, saw revenues fall almost 13% to €295.3m.

A dividend of 8c per ordinary share was recommended.

“Origin has performed strongly in 2009, growing operating profits and delivering excellent cash flow against the backdrop of challenging and competitive market conditions," CEO Tom O'Mahony said.

"Our food business capitalised on its leading brand positions to produce a resilient performance in the face of a significant weakening in consumer sentiment."

However O'Mahony described as "significant" the challenges facing the Irish farm sector, saying

farm incomes and purchasing power are under sustained pressure following a period of very low output prices and tightening of credit.

"Based on existing market conditions the Group anticipates that adjusted fully diluted earnings per share for the current business for 2010 will be lower than the record levels achieved in 2009."

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