(Alliance News) - Origin Enterprises PLC on Wednesday posted a drop in earnings for financial 2020, blaming the deterioration on prolonged unseasonal weather conditions and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shares in the agri-services provider were trading 0.7% lower at EUR3.10 each midday Wednesday in London.
For its financial year ended July 31, Origin posted pretax profit of EUR23.1 million, down 62% year-on-year from EUR61.4 million the year prior. This was as revenue fell 12% to EUR1.59 billion from EUR1.80 billion.
The company dubbed the year a challenging one as weather conditions in the UK and Ireland reduced demand for agronomy services, stating the autumn winter planting season was the wettest in 30 years followed by extremely dry conditions in the third quarter, which persisted into June, further lowering the intensity of crop input investment spend.
The Covid-9 pandemic also hurt Origin's performance as its amenity business faced the challenge of a large proportion of its customer base having to temporarily close.
Adjusted diluted earnings per share of 25.69 cent was in line with guidance, compared with 52.65 cents the year prior. Basic EPS was 15.81 cents, compared to 41.98 cents.
No final dividend was declared, resulting in a total annual payout of 3.15 cents, down 85% from 21.32 cents.
Looking ahead, Dublin-based Origin Enterprises said: "Following a year of extreme and unprecedented weather conditions, the group expects crop plantings to normalise in financial 2020 which, in turn, will improve agronomy services and crop inputs and return the group to growth. With the possibility of Brexit without a trade deal on December 31 and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, financial 2021 will bring challenges for the group. Given the macro environment, Origin will continue to implement a prudent risk management approach and capital allocation strategy."
Separately, the company said it has hired TJ Kelly as the its new chief financial officer, succeeding Sean Coyle who was promoted to chief executive following the departure of former CEO Tom O'Mahony.
Kelly is joining from hostel-focused online booking platform Hostelworld Group PLC where he held the same role. He previously worked in the US and Ireland with Irish nutrition firm Glanbia PLC for 12 years, where he held a number of senior leadership roles, including CFO of their Performance Nutrition Business and group financial controller.
"Following a thorough recruitment process, we are delighted to welcome an executive of TJ's calibre and expertise to Origin as we prepare for our next phase of growth. TJ brings a wealth of public company experience across multiple industries and markets to the group, including the global agriculture and food production sector. He has a proven track record in financial leadership, operational transformation and strategy implementation," said Origin Chair Rose Hynes.
Hostelworld said Kelly will step down by March and will be succeeded by Financial Controller Caroline Sherry, who joined the company in 2019 from Glanbia's Performance Nutrition division, where she was director of Financial Planning & Analysis. She previously held a number of strategic and commercial finance roles at Ulster Bank Group, a subsidiary of NatWest Group PLC.
"TJ has been a dedicated and professional colleague, has made a significant contribution to Hostelworld since taking up the role of CFO in 2018. He leaves with our very best wishes for the future. I am delighted that Caroline is becoming our new chief financial officer. She has made a huge contribution to the finance team at Hostelworld and brings exceptional experience having worked for global consumer and financial services companies," said Hostelworld Chief Executive Gary Morrison.
Shares in Hostelworld were trading 12% higher at 55.00 pence each at midday Wednesday in London.
By Ife Taiwo; firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.