Revenue at agri-services group Origin Enterprises slumped by 14 per cent to €381 million in the three months to the end of October, as poor weather hit sales of crop inputs and other services.
“There has been a slow start to trading in the seasonally quiet first quarter of the financial year, reflecting delayed harvests and dry planting conditions in certain of the group’s geographies, early in the period,” the company said in a trading update ahead of its annual general meeting on Tuesday.
However, it said it expected the normalisation of crop plantings in the coming period, which would result in improved sale volumes and a return to operating profit growth for the full financial year. It highlighted weaker emerging market currencies, the continued possibility of a no-deal Brexit and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as “challenges for the group”.
The group's core business in Ireland and the UK recorded a decrease in underlying agronomy services and crop input volumes of 3.3 per cent for the three-month period. A delayed harvest contributed to the ongoing reduction in the area of oil seed rape planted in the UK, with plantings expected to be down 12.2 per cent on the prior year at 0.3 million hectares, Origin noted.
However, in a positive it said combined winter and spring plantings for the 2021 crop production year were expected to be almost 11 per cent higher at about 4.4 million hectares.