Origin Enterprises eyes 4% earnings growth

Agri-services group Origin Enterprises has reiterated its expectation of earnings growth of over 4% in its current financial year, on the back of good performance in its seasonally important third quarter.

The Dublin-based business — up until recently majority owned by Irish-Swiss baked goods group Aryzta — yesterday reported a 0.8% year-on-year increase in underlying revenues for the three months to the end of April.

That prompted management to maintain its full-year guidance, for adjusted diluted earnings per share, of 60c for the 12 months to the end of July. That total would be around 4.3% up on the 57.51c generated in its last financial year, which, in turn, represented an annual jump of over 10%.

Revenues in the core agri-services division grew by 9.4%, on a year-on-year basis, to €560.9m. For the first nine months of Origin’s financial year, the division’s revenues amounted to €1.09bn, up from €1.03bn for the corresponding period last year. More than 40% of the full-year operating profit, generated from agri-services, arises in the final quarter.

Origin said: “The result is set against both a strong third-quarter comparative, reflecting the benefit of greater seasonal intensity in 2014 and the present backdrop of increased volatility across primary output and input markets, which is exerting considerable pressure on the incomes of primary producers currently.”

Jack Gorman of Davy Stockbrokers called it a “resilient” performance against the backdrop of a “tough prior-year comparative and a challenging environment for primary producers”.


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