Revenue at agri-services group Origin Enterprises fell in the first half of the year, declining almost 14 per cent to €604.9 million.
The group, which provides specialist agronomy advice, crop inputs and digital agricultural solutions, reported an operating loss of €2.8 million over the six months to January 31st, 2020. Underlying profit was down €11.4 million as lower autumn and winter crop plantings hit business volumes.
“It has been a challenging first six months for the group. Operating conditions faced by farmers and growers, principally in the UK, due to intense and prolonged rainfall has led to a 40 per cent year-on-year reduction in the level of autumn and winter crop plantings,” said chief executive Tom O’Mahony.
"This significantly exceeds the 25 per cent reduction estimated at the time of our Q1 trading update in November 2019, and has resulted in lower than expected underlying profitability and cash generation in our largest division, Ireland and the UK."
However, Continental Europe and Latin America divisions were in line with expectations, recording good performances in the first half of the year and showing an underlying increase in operating profits.
Net debt for the group rose to €264.2 million, with the company paying an interim dividend of 3.15 cent per share.