Although revenue at Origin Enterprises was down in the first six months of the year, the group have increased its full year earnings per share guidance by 3 per cent to 53.5 cent per share.

The group saw revenue down for the six month period to the end of January by 8.8 per cent to €517.6m from €567.7m. It said the fall coincided with both lower global fertiliser and feed prices.

According to Origin CEO Tom O’Mahony: “Origin has delivered a solid operating and financial performance during the seasonally quiet first half of the financial year, recording a 12.1 per cent increase in underlying adjusted earnings per share.”

From an Irish context the business highlighted higher fertiliser volumes in Ireland were supported by favourable weather in late summer and early autumn with dairy enterprises continuing to invest in nutrition programmes to maximise grass and silage production for their winter fodder requirements.

Origin also says it is optimistic in relation to full year fertiliser volumes in Ireland and the UK. In particular strong output prices in the case of the dairy enterprise combined with a return to a full cropping area following last year’s extreme weather conditions are expected to support consumption in the seasonally more important second half of the year.

O’Mahony said: “Agri-Services has performed ahead of last year and is well positioned for the seasonally more significant second half of the year as near perfect autumn growing conditions, principally in the United Kingdom, supported a strong recovery in winter arable plantings.”

He added: “The completion of the acquisition of Agroscope in the period underlines Origin’s strategic priority to scale its technology and service portfolios in new markets providing meaningful agronomic extension opportunity.”

“The requirement of primary food producers for greater crop productivity whilst managing the environmental sustainability of their production systems underscores the urgent priority to reliably close the gap between optimum crop potential and what is credibly achievable. The Group, through its comprehensive co-ordinated growing systems and knowledge translation capability, is committed to delivering practical and relevant information on-farm that can positively influence the competitiveness, profitability and sustainability of primary arable, vegetable and fruit enterprises,” he concluded.

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