Agri-services group Origin Enterprises has reported marginally higher revenues and profits for the year to the end of July despite competitive market conditions and the impact of a weaker sterling.
Origin Enterprises said its revenues for the year inched 0.5% higher to €1.528 billion, while its pre-tax profits grew by 3% to €67.46m from 65.5m the previous year.
The company said its adjusted earnings per share were up 4.7% to 46.62 cent as demand for its agronomy services and inputs was boosted by a more stable near term planning environment for producers as well as generally settled weather conditions.
Origin said its board has recommended a final dividend of 17.85 cent per share, which combined with the interim dividend of 3.15 cent brings the total dividend for the year to 21 cent.
The company's chief executive Tom O'Mahony said that while market conditions were highly competitive, a combination of sustained volume growth and higher margins underpinned a strong underlying business performance which more than offset the adverse currency translation impact of sterling depreciation.
"The group is well positioned to capitalise on its scalable business platforms, development opportunities and strong balance sheet," the CEO added.
The company said its Ireland and UK operations saw revenue growth of 2.9% to €955m, while operating profits rose 12.2% to €53.4m in a competitive market environment.
It noted that the positive impact of a weaker sterling on crop output values, as well as a favourable backdrop to global dairy markets, were the main drivers of an improvement in farm incomes.
Revenues in its Continental Europe division rose by 12.2% to €397.3m while operating profits increased by 10.3% to €16.2m.
The company said that higher margins in its Poland operations were underpinned by an improved portfolio mix of added valued technologies.
It also noted that demand in its Romania operations was "resilient" while crop development was "satisfactory".
Meanwhile, an improved macro-economic backdrop contributed to a more favourable financing environment for primary producers in Ukraine, it added.
On Brexit, the company said it was still too early to assess the longer term implications of the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
"The group recognises the period of uncertainty that currently exists until greater clarity on the final outcomes of the Brexit negotiations emerge, notably in relation to the implications for UK domestic agricultural policy, regulation and the future trading relationship between the UK and the European Union," the company said in its results statement.
It said that it is planning "a variety of scenarios" which will be updated as Brexit outcomes become clearer, adding that it remains confident its business model is well placed to address the challenges and opportunities that may arise.
Shares in the company closed 4.37% higher in Dublin trade today.