Agri-Services Group Origin Enterprises plc has announced the acquisition of Greentech Limited the UK's leading manufacturer and distributor of landscaping, forestry and grounds maintenance equipment.
Green-tech is expected to enhance the offering of Origin's Amenity businesses and offers potential in the area of environmental land management and bio-diversity enhancement for the group's agri-focused businesses, the company said.
Commenting on the announcement, Sean Coyle, chief executive officer, Origin said, "Green-tech is an excellent strategic fit for Origin and extends our Amenity offering in the UK in a segment we expect will grow further in the coming years."
While continuing to navigate the challenges caused by COVID-19, weaker currencies in certain of the group's geographies, and Brexit, Origin said it delivered an improved performance in the first half of the year.
In the group's interim results published yesterday (4 March 2021), Origin reported an operating profit of €1.2 million in the period which 'compared favourably to a loss of €2.8 million in the first half of 2020'.
This was largely as a result of a more normalised cropping profile across the group, set against last year's highly unseasonal and prolonged weather conditions which materially impacted business performance in H1 2020, it added.
According to Coyle group revenue was €572.4 million for the first half, a decline of 5.4% on a reported basis, but in line with the corresponding period last year on a constant currency basis.
"Revenue performance reflects underlying volume growth of 2.0%, driven primarily by fertiliser tonnes, offset by pricing declines of 2.1%," he said.
"Fertiliser prices were lower than last year for most of H1 2020 but increased towards the end of the period, while pricing of other crop inputs remained stable or increased in the period."
The group said it delivered a strong working capital performance across all business units, with a significant reduction in working capital and net bank debt, driven by enhanced management of our inventory levels, debt recovery, and the one-off benefit of COVID-19 related UK VAT deferrals.
"Our improved balance sheet allows us to resume dividend payments, and pursue further M&A [Mergers and Acquisitions] activity, in the second half of the year," Coyle added.
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