Agri-services group Origin Enterprises has reported a 12.5% increase in operating profit for the first half of its financial year - a seasonally quiet trading period for the company.

Revenues for the six months to the end of January rose by 4% to €586.9m compared to the same time the previous year while its operating profits came in at €3.97m.

The company's pre-tax loss for the six month period narrowed to €31,000 from €64,000 the previous year.

It has proposed an interim dividend of 3.15 cent per share, unchanged from last year's interim dividend.

Origin said it had seen a favourable autumn and winter cropping base established for its seasonally important second half.

The company's chief executive Tom O'Mahony said the deal for Belgium-based Pillaert-Mekoson during the six month period scaled Origin's position in Europe and provided further buy and build consolidation and growth opportunities.

He said the company continues to prioritise new growth opportunities in its agri-services division, while it will also focus on cash generation, operational and commercial effectiveness. 

"The autumn and winter cropping profile established to date provides a solid foundation for the seasonally more important second half when over 90% of earnings are typically generated," the CEO added.

The company also today announced the appointment of Rafal Prendke as CEO of its Continental European division.