Agri-services group Origin Enterprises said it had a strong start to its fiscal year as autumn and winter planting levels were favourable.
The first quarter of 2022, which is traditionally the company’s quieter period, showed revenue of €454.1 million compared to €318.3 million in the prior year, where carry-over of stock on-farm reduced demand. The 42.6 per cent increase is being attributed to increased demand, some early season forward buying by farmers and a particularly encouraging autumn/winter planting season in the UK. About half of the revenue growth was down to increased global fertiliser and feed prices.
Origin said the planted area for autumn and winter crops in the three months ended October 31st 2021 is expected to be broadly in line with last year, as an increase in cropping area expected in the UK offset by a modest reduction in Continental Europe.
In Ireland the UK there was an increase in underlying agronomy services and crop input volumes of 16.4 per cent for the quarter. Business-to-Business Agri-Inputs had a strong start to the financial year, with increased fertiliser and animal feed ingredients volumes.
Origin’s amenity business recorded a solid start to the year, integrating the UK-based Green-tech business.
The group said digital agricultural services continued to enhance its offering, with more than 1.8 million active hectares on-boarded to the platform during the period. That compared to 1.4 million a year earlier.
In Continental Europe, there was an underlying volume increase in agronomy services and crop inputs of 22.4 per cent in the period, excluding crop marketing volumes.
Latin America also improved performance in the period, with an underlying increase in agronomy services and crop input volumes of 89.3 per cent.
Looking ahead. Origin said favourable autumn/winter planting levels set a solid foundation for continued progress later in the financial year.
“As flagged at the time of our FY21 full year announcement, we are conscious of potential operating and commercial challenges with regard to global supply chain risks and raw material price volatility,” Origin said in a statement. “Through continued disciplined capital deployment, and the strength and experience of the leadership team in place, we are confident in the group’s ability to progress our growth ambitions successfully in FY22 and beyond, allowing us to further increase shareholder returns.”