Irish food group Glanbia has booked an increase in sales and earnings for 2012, driven by expansion in its global nutritionals business.

The dairy firm said that profit before tax increased 9% to EUR198.8m (US$257m), while adjusted earnings were up 14.2% to 57.9 cents a share.

Revenues rose to EUR2.88bn in the year, up 4.8% on 2011. Growth was fuelled by its nutritionals division, where sales rose 20% on the back of “positive markets and strong operational performances”.

The company is preparing to create Ireland’s largest dairy processor through a tie-up between Glanbia plc and Glanbia co-op, which will be known as Glanbia Ingredients Ireland. The company said the restructuring will enable it to capitalise on the expansion opportunity that Glanbia anticipates following the abolition of EU milk quotas in 2015.

Looking to 2013, Glanbia predicted EPS growth of 8-10%. However, the group also sounded a note of caution on the “uncertain global economic environment” and “challenging Irish retail environment”.