Swiss firm Origin reports slow start to year due to bad weather
Origin Enterprises, an agri-company majority owned by Swiss baked goods firm Aryzta, reported a slow start to its financial year yesterday as inclement weather constrained activity. The trading update coincided with the company’s AGM in Dublin, at which shareholders welcomed a 36 per cent increase in dividend from 11 cent to 15 cent.
Unseasonably wet weather in the first quarter compounded what is typically a seasonal lull for the company. While revenue increased by 11.2 per cent to €351.2 million for the three months, the impact of exchange rates accounted for most of the increase. The 3.4 per cent underlying growth in sales reflected higher prices rather than increased sales volume.
However, despite the slowdown in its farm inputs business, Origin’s agronomy, or agricultural advice business, had a satisfactory start to the year, the company said, while its fertiliser sales businesses in Ireland grew.
In terms of outlook, Origin indicated that the slowdown in winter planting would be offset by a higher level of spring planting next year.