Agri-services group Origin Enterprises has announced an 11.2% increase in revenue in its first quarter, according to a trading update coinciding with its AGM yesterday.
Revenue at the group increased to €351.2 million in the period, compared with €315.8 million last year, due to a currency increase of 7.8% and underlying growth of 3.4%, "principally driven by higher prices with seed and fertiliser volumes lower year-on-year."
The group said that it was reporting a "slower start" to its 2013 financial year, as "as on-farm activity in Ireland and the UK was impacted by a sustained period of unseasonably wet weather resulting in a delayed autumn harvest and challenging arable crop planting conditions."
On its consumer foods division, Valeo Foods, which it joint owns with CapVest, the group said that "Valeo delivered a solid performance in an intensely competitive trading environment. The business is taking the necessary steps to maintain competitiveness and prioritise value to consumers who are increasingly focused on price and promotional purchases."
It added that Valeo’s core brands, which include Batchelors, Sqeez, Roma, Odlums and Lustre, "continued to maintain their leadership position through a combination of category repositioning, new category partnership initiatives and strong promotional mechanics."
Commenting on the performance, John O'Reilly of Davy Stockbrokers said "with the lions share of profit occurring in H2 of Origin's financial year, the depressed Q1 will increase the second-half weighting of profit still further this year."