The company said: “The business had a difficult first half in 2004, with a substantial decline in profitability. The pigmeat industry is cyclical and this has been compounded recently by overcapacity and inefficiencies in production.”
However, Glanbia said it expected 2004 to be the low point. The group said increasing competition in liquid milk and chilled foods had been offset by the launch of products such as its flavoured milks earlier this year.
The company reported strong performances from its food ingredients and nutritionals businesses.
It said it expected this to continue, especially with the opening of its innovation centre in Ireland later this year, which will be focusing on the health and wellbeing sector.
It added that it continued to actively seek joint ventures and had between £80m and £100m set aside for acquisitions.
Glanbia’s turnover dropped by 7.3% from E1.05bn to E974m in the half-year to July 3 2004. Pre-tax profit was up from E10.7m to E35.8m but last year’s figure was depressed by exceptional items of E26.9m.