14 September 2001

Almost double profits

IRISH food group Glanbia has announced a virtual doubling of operating profits for the half-year ending Jun 30, 2001.

Profits rose by 84% to k45.46m (£28m), up from k24.65 (£15.2m) for the same period last year.

The figures contrast strongly with 2000 when the company was forced to issue a profits warning, after serious under-performance in the UK meat and food service sectors.

All operating divisions reported a boost in profits, including agribusiness which had been hit by a slump in sales earlier this year. Foot-and-mouth is partially credited for the turn around, with an increase in feed sales due to higher stocking levels.

Despite the loss of some pork export markets because of foot-and-mouth, consumer foods, covering meat and dairy production and marketing operations, saw operating profits back in the black at k7.15m (£4.4m), after a loss of k1.24m (£0.77m) last year.

A recovery in the US cheese market assisted the groups dairy food ingredients business, which supplies the international nutrition and food processing sectors, to post an operating profit of k28.7m (£17.7m), a hike of 74%.

Chairman Tom Corcoran claims an ongoing strategy of enhanced operating efficiencies should ensure the improved performance is maintained throughout the remainder of 2001. &#42