Glanbia remains bullish on growth

GLANBIA, the €2.2 billion global cheese and nutritional ingredients group, said yesterday it was confident of achieving market expectations for further growth in the full year.

The group, which has operations in Ireland, mainland Europe, the United States, Canada and China, with international joint ventures in Britain, the US and Nigeria, told shareholders at its annual general meeting in Kilkenny that it expects to continue to build on its 2007 performance.

Group managing director John Moloney said the group is having a good first half with individual performances broadly in line with expectations.

There was a recovery of margins in consumer foods, stable performance from agribusiness, margin maintenance in food ingredients Ireland, strong growth in food ingredients USA, good organic growth in nutritionals and an improved contribution form international joint ventures.

“The strength of our business portfolio, combined with our continued focus on operational excellence gives us the confidence that we are on target to meet current market expectations for double-digit growth in earnings per share,” he said.

Glanbia also issued an interim management statement to comply with new EU regulations.

It stated that while a level of volatility continues in dairy markets, the group was confident of meeting market expectations for the full year.

Dealing with its operations in Ireland, the group said it expects a satisfactory half-year performance from consumer foods with recovery of significant raw material cost increases experienced in 2007.

The group’s pigmeat operations were disposed of in February and as a consequence results will reflect trading for the first two months of the year.

Glanbia employs 4,900 people worldwide and has 5,500 milk suppliers. It processes 4.12 billion litres of milk, produces 400,000 tonnes of cheese and manufactures 260,000 tonnes of food ingredients.

Operating profit pre exceptional rose last year by 35% to €115.8 million and adjusted earnings per share were up 25% to 28.2 cent.

Tributes were paid to chairman Michael Walsh who was presiding at his last AGM before stepping down from the post.


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