Origin Enterprises eyes more deals as profits collapse

Dublin-headquartered agri-services group Origin Enterprises said it remains on the lookout for more international acquisitions, even after seeing its annual profits plummet by nearly 26%.

The group last year sold its consumer foods interests and re-invested in growing its pan-European agri-services footprint despite challenging market conditions.

That tough trading climate was amply illustrated yesterday, with Origin posting a pre-tax profit of just over €65.5m for the 12 months to the end of July – a figure down by 25.7% on a yearly basis.

Revenue was up 4.3% to €1.52bn, but total group operating profit fell by nearly 22% to just under €72.9m and basic earnings per share were more than 25% behind the previous year at 46.03c.

Origin’s chief executive Tom O’Mahony said despite the current pressures on farm incomes and subdued sector sentiment, the group remains “well-positioned” to benefit from any sustained improvement in conditions. Unseasonal weather also hampered its annual results.

“We remain committed to expanding Origin’s footprint and will continue to prioritise investment in strategic acquisitions as well as in the further development of the group’s crop management systems and yield technology transfer platforms,” he added.

Despite the less-than- spectacular annual results – which management saw as “a solid operational and financial performance” in light of current market conditions – Origin’s share price still rose by over 2.5%, to €5.65, in Dublin yesterday.


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