Sean Coyle, chief executive of agri-services group Origin Enterprises, has been chosen as The Irish Times Business Person of the Month for October, an award run in association with Bank of Ireland.
The Irish-listed company acquired UK ecology consultancy and contractor Keystone Environmental during the month, having earlier reported a strong rise in full-year revenues due to soaring commodity prices.
Based in Gloucestershire, Keystone conducts pre-construction ecological studies and habitat surveys on behalf of clients applying for planning permission.
Stockbroker Davy said the deal aligned with Origin’s strategy. “While modest in scale, Keystone offers Origin a low-risk route in establishing an ecology services platform,” Davy said, adding that further bolt-ons are to be expected in due course.
Coyle, who was appointed as Origin’s CEO in July 2020, described Keystone as an “excellent fit” for Origin to develop its ecology services. “Investment in this sector is a key priority for the group, as we broaden our offering in sustainable land use,” he said.
In results published about a week before the Keystone deal was announced, Origin reported a surge in group revenues to €2.3 billion for the year to the end of July. Its operating profit rose by 96 per cent to €119.7 million while its margins increased to 5.1 per cent, up from 3.7 per cent previously.
Origin’s share price has bucked recent market trends, rising by more than 5 per cent in the year to date.