Irish food Group Glanbia has today (Wednesday) announced a rise in sales for the year ended 1 January 2005 to €1.83bn (US$2.4bn) from €1.66bn in 2003, but operating profit fell to €83.5bn from €88.5bn.

The company blamed a sharp downturn in the fresh pork business for the fall in profits.

“Overall the Group performed satisfactorily in 2004 delivering results in line with expectations, notwithstanding the challenging trading environment in Ireland, particularly the difficult pigmeat sector, said John Moloney, group managing director.

“For 2005 our focus will be on the completion of the major strategic dairy processing investments in New Mexico and Nigeria, development initiatives which build scale and diversity and driving cost efficiencies that enhance performance,” he said. “The trading outlook across the Group has some challenges, particularly in the context of managing the impact of EU dairy sector reform. However with our strong market positions and evolving nutritionals business, the Group is well positioned for growth.”