Irish food group Glanbia has recorded an increase in first-half earnings and reiterated its profit guidance for the full year.

Earnings climbed to EUR82m (US$109.8m) in the six months to the end of June, a 20.4% increase on the first half of last year, the company reported today (21 August). EBITDA was up 7.7% to EUR57.5m.

Chief executive John Maloney said the group’s first half performance was driven by the “global performance” of its nutrition and global ingredients businesses with the two units representing over 70% of total earnings.

Sales in the nutrition unit were up 13.7% to EUR324.4m. EBITDA grew 19.7% to EUR34m. The ingredients division recorded a sales increase of 17% to EUR539.2m. EBITDA climbed 7.7% to EUR57.5m.

Glanbia’s domestic dairy division, however, saw earnings fall 24.3% to EUR12.1m on the back of lower volumes and higher milk input costs. Sales were up 9.2% to EUR383.2m.

Group sales in the period were up 16.8% to EUR539.2m.

“We expect little change in the external operating environment in the second half and with clear challenges remaining in Dairy Ireland we are maintaining our 2013 full year guidance of adjusted earnings per share growth of between 8% and 10%,” Moloney said. “Overall, Glanbia is in a strong position to capitalise on its unique portfolio of global businesses, development opportunities and strong balance sheet.”

Moloney is due to step down as MD by the end of the year after 12 years in the job. Finance director Siobhán Talbot has become MD-designate and will formally replace Moloney.

Click here to view the full earnings release.