Origin Enterprises has reported a much-improved performance, for the year to the end of July, compared to a challenging 2020, which was impacted by extreme weather and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Agri-Services group's preliminary results statement, the group said it experienced a delayed season in 2021 following prolonged cold weather in spring.
However, Origin noted that more favourable conditions in the fourth quarter resulted in increased demand for agronomy services, crop inputs and amenity products.
The group said that it's operating profit increased by 38.3% to €61.0 million and that it delivered a solid earnings recovery, during the period.
The recovery in earnings was 'primarily driven by increased volumes and improved margins in Ireland and the UK,' the company said.
Group revenue, including crop marketing revenue, increased by 4.4% to €1,658.4 million on a reported basis and was ahead on a constant currency basis by 7.2%.
Commenting on the results, Sean Coyle, chief executive officer, Origin commented, "The group continues to focus on strategic opportunities that complement our existing market positions and enhance our product capabilities through a combination of organic and acquisition growth."
Greentech Limited Acquisition
On the 5 March, the group announced that it had acquired Greentech Limited, the UK's leading manufacturer and distributor of landscaping, forestry and ground maintenance equipment.
Coyle noted that the business is "integrating well" and "performing in line with expectations".
"Green-tech is an excellent strategic fit for Origin and enhances the offering of our amenity businesses while offering potential in the area of environmental land management and biodiversity enhancement for the group's agri-focused businesses," he said.
The group said that this year, it disposed of its Belgian fertiliser business during the year as it 'became clear that opportunities for consolidation did not exist in that market.'
Coyle highlighted that sustainability and responsible practices are "core" to the company's strategy and that the group will soon publish it's inaugural stand-alone Sustainability Report - 'Nurturing Growth'.
"This report will detail our ESG performance and outline our vision to be the trusted partner of choice across our value chain. In addition, consistent with our focus on ESG, our banking facilities, recently extended to 2025, now have pricing linked to our ESG performance," he said.
While the business recovered from a very challenging trading environment in full year 2020, COVID-19 continued to present operational challenges for the business in 2021, the company said.
However, as a result of the collective efforts of all of its people and the resilience of its business model, 'the group will continue to serve it customers, delivering revenue and operating profit growth together with strong operating cash flow,' it added.
"Although we have encountered minimal supply chain challenges to date, we continue to monitor the COVID-led global supply challenges being experienced," Coyle said.
"Through continued disciplined capital deployment and the strength and experience of the leadership team in place, combined with our scalable and diversified market positions, I am confident we will progress our growth ambitions successfully in FY22 and beyond," he added.