Ireland-based dairy and nutrition group Glanbia today (16 November) indicated that its annual profits would be higher than previously forecast.

The company said it now expects its adjusted earnings per share to grow by "circa 20% on a constant-currency basis" in 2011.

The new forecast compared to its previous guidance in August when it said earnings would rise by 18-20%.

Glanbia made the new prediction in a trading update for the ten months to the end of October.

It said its revenues had risen by 28%. Underlying volumes had increased by 10% due to its global nutritionals and Irish dairy ingredients business.

Glanbia said its global nutritionals division was set to show "good growth" for 2011. It reported that its ingredients arm in Ireland had seen activity drop in the second half of the year due to "softer" milk prices and falling milk supply to meet EU quotas. Nevertheless, Glanbia said the outlook for the rest of the year for the Irish dairy ingredients business was "solid".

However, the company admitted that its Irish consumer dairy business would see its "year-on-year performance" decline in 2011. Margins from the division have been "squeezed" amid the "very challenging" conditions in Ireland's food retail market, it added.

Looking at Glanbia's performance so far as a whole, MD John Moloney said "most aspects" of the business were "performing well" in the second half of the year.

"As we exit 2011, there are some headwinds and global macroeconomic uncertainty to contend with but we are confident of a strong full year outcome," he said.

Glanbia shares were up 0.68% at EUR4.39 at 12:30 GMT. Earlier in the day, they had risen by almost 3%.