SHARP increases in grain prices in the second half of the year boosted earnings per share by 3% to 37.26 cent at Origin Enterprises as demand for inputs from farmers rose. Group turnover fell 11.3% from €1.5bn to €1.3bn.
Earnings before interest tax and amortisation (EBITA) for the group were up 1.8% to €82.4m.
The group, which is in the process of selling off its brands including Shamrock Foods and Roma said the bad weather across Europe has increased demand but the outlook for grain prices could remain volatile.
Chief executive Tom O’Mahony said grain markets will remain volatile for a variety of reasons, and will cause hardship for nations bad at producing their own supplies.
Increased production within countries which have the capability of raising their output is the best answer to that problem, he said.
Agri nutrition recorded a 3.7% rise in sales to €67.5m for the year while food suffered a dip of over 6% in its turnover to €14.8m. Net debt of €111,889 was down a substantial 27.2% over the period.
For shareholders the group has declared a rise of 12.5% on the ordinary dividend to 9c up from 8c. The group’s agri-advisory service provided by Masstock underpinned the performance from Agri-Services business.
Mr O’Mahony said: “Origin performed ahead of expectations delivering strong cash flow and growing earnings per share following a very good second-half performance,” he said.
He added the improving outlook for farm incomes has resulted in a return to more normal demand patterns across agri-services contributing to robust results from Masstock’s prescription-led agronomy services, fertiliser blending and feed ingredients.
Since the company floated in 2007 it has delivered compound EBITA growth of 24%.
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