Growing food ingredients sales has led Glanbia to forecast annual earnings at the "upper end of market expectations".

The Ireland-based dairy and ingredients firm said today (8 January) that increased global demand for dairy products had driven its growth in 2007.

Managing director John Moloney said the "spread" of businesses across the group had helped Glanbia. "Whilst global dairy markets continue to evolve as we enter 2008, the outlook for Glanbia this year is positive."

However, Glanbia admitted its consumer foods business had had a "challenging" year and would lag its performance in 2006.

"The liquid milk and chilled food sectors remain competitive and in 2007 were impacted by the time lag in recovering the significant price increases for raw material inputs," the company said.

Glanbia will issue its full-year results on 5 March.