Origin published a trading update for the nine months to the end of April 2024 which showed revenue dropped almost €400m to €1.5bn in the period.

The company said “adverse weather and challenging in-field conditions” resulted in reduced cropping area in the UK and delayed application in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

There has been an improvement in feed and fertiliser volumes in recent months. Origin said that higher volumes were more than offset by much lower prices.

While describing trading conditions as “challenging”, Origin maintained its full year earnings guidance of between 45 cents and 48 cents per share.

Earnings base

It said that the strategic focus to diversify the group’s portfolio is demonstrating the resilience of its earnings base.

While the bad weather meant that there was a large drop in UK cropping – down 25.8% to 1.9m hectares – it also meant that farmers had to buy more feed for their livestock, which Origin said it “benefited from”.

The company’s business in Latin America continued to perform well with a 7.1% increase in revenue for the nine months to $113m ($104m), driven by a 36.1% increase in business volumes.

It did say that hot and dry weather in the growing season in Brazil means the expected soy harvest there will be 4% lower, despite a 4% increase in the area planted.

Origin said that its €20m share buyback scheme is progressing and is 77% completed. There was little change in the price of shares in trading following the release of these results. Origin will release preliminary results for its financial year in September.