Agri-services group Origin Enterprises has reported slightly higher operating profits and flat revenues for the year to the end of July.

The company said that "near perfect planting and growing conditions" led to a strong recovery in the demand for agronomy services and farm inputs.

Group operating profits for the year rose by 2.4% to €92.905m from €90.745m while revenues dipped 0.2% to €1.415 billion.  

The board has recommended an increase in the dividend per ordinary share of 15.9 cent to 20 cent per share.

Origin's chief executive Tom O'Mahony said that the results for 2014 underlines the strength of the group's positioning in agri-services with growth achieved against the dilutive impact of the disposal of its marine proteins and oils joint venture interest.

"Our near term priority is to leverage the group's application know-how and knowledge transfer capabilities through geographic extension and modular bolt-on opportunity. Origin has a strong capacity to fund new market opportunities and we are confident of delivering further earnings growth in 2015," he added. 

The group's Integrated on-farm agronomy unit saw an "excellent" year, recording higher revenues and profits as near perfect conditions on farms supported the early drilling and accelerated development of winter and spring crops. 

Its Polish operations saw a "satisfactory" performance over the 12 month period as the benefit of higher agronomy revenues revenues offset lower crop marketing margins due to weaker export market conditions compared to the previous year. 

Its Agriscope business in Ukraine delivered a "robust" contribution, despite the current political and economic uncertainty in the country. The company said it is maintaining a cautious planning approach throughout the business there.

Origin said its business to business Agri-Inputs division in Ireland and the UK reported a strong performance, as it posted solid operating profit growth. It noted that the business recorded higher fertiliser volumes in the UK due to a largely stable raw material pricing environment in the second half of the year.

Origin has a 32% interest in Valeo Foods Group, which performed in line with expectations in a "highly challenging and competitive environment in the grocery market".

During the year, it bought the Rowse Honey business, the UK's leading honey category brand. The company has now been integrated into the Valeo operating structure and is performing as expected.