Shares in international agri-services group Origin Enterprises jumped today after it reported higher quarterly revenues and said that favourable autumn/winter planting levels have set a solid foundation for the full year.
In a trading update for the three months to the end of October - its fiscal first quarter - it said its revenues soared by 57.7% to €716.2m from €454.1m the same time last year.
Origin said that its activity levels in Ukraine remain significantly reduced as a result of the war with the planted area also likely to be significantly reduced on prior year.
"The group's top priority continues to be the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and the de-risking of the balance sheet," it said.
We continue to support limited localised operations where appropriate and are actively monitoring the situation on the ground, overseen by the local team," it added.
Origin said its operations in Ireland and the UK saw an increase in underlying agronomy services and crop input volumes of 8.8% in the three month period.
"Overall, an earlier 2022 harvest, in addition to delivering good yields and high-quality grain, facilitated an early autumn/winter planting season," it said, adding that the expected area of winter wheat remains broadly unchanged at 1.8 million hectares.
Planting conditions for oil seed rape have been largely favourable, with the expected planted area up 11.1% to 0.4 million hectares compared to the same time last year.
"Combined autumn/winter and spring plantings for the 2023 crop production year are expected to be in line with last year at 4.4 million hectares. Digital agricultural services continue to develop the Group's capabilities in precision farming and digital agronomy," it added.
Origin said that operations in its Continental Europe division saw underlying volume increases in agronomy services and crop inputs of 1.2% in the period, excluding Ukraine and crop marketing volumes.
It reported a good start to the year in Poland and Romania, with positive cropping profiles and favourable in-field conditions reported.
"Overall, across Poland and Romania, the autumn and winter planted area is expected to increase, however this is expected to be offset by a corresponding reduction in spring plantings," it added.
Meanwhile, its Latin America union reported a strong performance in the period, recording an underlying increase in agronomy services and crop input volumes of 20.5%.
The total cropping area dedicated to soya, Brazil's main crop, is expected to increase by 2.9% on the previous year to 42.7 million hectares, it added.
Origin said its first quarter delivered a strong start to the year, with favourable autumn/winter planting levels setting a solid foundation for the financial year, subject to the usual weather risks which may arise as the year progresses.
"The challenging macro-economic conditions from FY22 have persisted into Q1 FY23, including significant general inflation, challenging energy markets and less certainty around product availability resulting in a volatile trading environment," it said.
"However, with a strong balance sheet and the strength and experience of the leadership team in place, Origin is well positioned to deliver on our financial and strategic ambitions," it added.
Shares in the company moved higher in Dublin trade today.