Glanbia said the popularity of health and sports nutrition products such as whey protein powder will fuel growth in the coming months, as its global cheese production helped raise its revenues almost 10% to over €2bn in its first half results.

The nutritional giant said total revenue in the first half of 2017 was over €2.04bn, compared with over €1.83bn a year earlier. That represents an increase of 9.9% in the year after taking account of currency changes. Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation were €192m, up almost 7%.

The sale of 60% of Dairy Ireland to Glanbia Co-Op to create Glanbia Ireland is now complete, it said.

The sale to Glanbia Co-Op created a new joint venture in Glanbia Ireland, of which the co-op will own 60% and Glanbia will own 40%.

Group managing director Siobhán Talbot said Glanbia Nutritionals, which includes its worldwide cheese production, as well as its “joint ventures” was the main driver of growth this year.

She added that the first- half results were a “good” performance for Glanbia.

“We believe second-half earnings progression will also be driven by Glanbia Performance Nutrition where good organic growth is expected for the remainder of the year,” she said.

Performance nutrition refers to health and sports food such as whey protein powder, protein bars, and other supplements. Glanbia owns some of the world’s most popular sports supplements brands such as Optimum Nutrition and BSN.

Its performance nutrition division delivered reported revenue growth of more than 5% in the first half of the year, while its nutritionals division including cheese delivered 12% growth.

Glanbia said it would continue to monitor the Brexit talks in relation to any potential effect on cheese producers.

It has a big presence in the US, including Wisconsin, Idaho, and New Mexico. It is to build a $400m (€340.6m) new cheese and whey production plan in Michigan in a joint venture with the Dairy Farmers of America.

Shares went up around 1%, a reflection of a solid first half, said Investec analyst Ian Hunter. “They are solid numbers, what the market expected,” he said.

The shares are up 11.5% this year, valuing the company at €5.21bn.


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