Glanbia, the Ireland-based dairy and sports nutrition group, has lifted its forecast for annual earnings after a jump in first-half profits.

The company said today (24 August) that it now expects its adjusted earnings per share to climb by 18-20% this year when foreign exchange is excluded from the numbers. Glanbia’s previous forecast, issued in March, was for adjusted EPS to increase by 11-13%.

In the six months to 2 July, Glanbia’s adjusted EPS was up 55% on a constant-currency basis to EUR0.29 after profits increased from its two core divisions – its US cheese and global nutritionals business and its Irish dairy unit.

Glanbia pointed to “strong global dairy markets” and said product innovation had supported the organic growth of its global nutritionals business.

Glanbia booked a 36.3% jump in net profit to EUR65.7m (US$95m), while operating profit increased 25.3% to EUR83.1m.

Revenue, including the contribution from Glanbia’s joint ventures and associates, rose 29.4% to EUR1.6bn. Without the ventures and associates, turnover increased 29.6% to EUR1.34bn.

MD John Moloney said: “Glanbia continues to perform well. The overall trading environment remains positive and while global dairy market prices appear to have peaked in the current cycle, indications are for a relatively modest softening in prices for the remainder of the year. Demand-led growth across all product categories in global nutritionals is also strong. The calibre of our first-half performance, leading market positions and strength of our global portfolio, positions Glanbia strongly for the full year.”

Shares in Glanbia were up 3.46% at EUR4.20 at 09:51 this morning.

Click here for the full statement from Glanbia.