Food group Glanbia has said the group is performing in line with expectations despite the more challenging operating environment this year.
The company released an interim management statement ahead of its AGM in Kilkenny today.
It said that international demand for dairy products was solid in the first three months of the year, supported by demand from developing economies.
Glanbia said it remained focused on strong cost management and repeated its forecast of 5-7% growth in adjusted earnings per share for 2012.
In today's trading update, the company said that prices for most dairy categories have weakened so far this year, mainly due to an oversupply of milk due to sustained good weather in most milk producing regions. US cheese prices have also declined in response to strong US milk production, it added.
Glanbia said that total group revenues for the first three months of the year grew by 1.9% compared to the same time last year. But volume fell by 1.5% as lower volumes in dairy ingredients and agri-business more than offset growth in global nutritionals.
It said that revenues from its Irish dairy business fell by 4.6% in the first quarter of this year. It predicted that revenues for the first half of the year in the division will be broadly in line with those of last year. But operating profits and operating margins will be somewhat lower as global dairy market prices continue to weaken.
''Glanbia is successfully driving growth in nutritionals and the depth and strength of the portfolio in these dynamic growth sectors positions Glanbia well for the future,'' today's statement said.
Shares in Glanbia were down 0.36% this evening, at €5.65.