Donegal Investment Group plc ("DIG" or the "Company")
24th May 2017
Donegal Investment Group Plc held its AGM today.
The Chairman Mr. Geoffrey Vance stated that the Group performance in the 8 month period to the 31st August 2016 had seen a significant improvement in the performance of our seed potato business as well as continued progress in our food-agri division
Turnover from continuing operations increased by 3.3% delivering adjusted earnings per share of 10.9c. The produce division was considerably ahead of the prior period in 2015 with the segmental loss of €0.5m, a significant improvement of €1.0m over the prior period. Mr. Vance also noted the continued progress being made by the food-agri division which delivered a segmental result of €2.0m, which was €0.7m ahead of like for like performance in 2015.
Mr. Vance was also very satisfied with the Interim Results of the group to the 28 February 2017 which were released on the 27 April 2017.
Mr. Vance stated that the Group's overall performance was on plan for the new financial year to 31 August 2017 where the first six months has delivered adjusted earnings per share of 30.1c. Due to the seasonal nature of the Group’s seed potato business and animal feeds business the first six months trading represents a materially significant element of the Group’s full year performance.
Mr. Vance also discussed the Board’s decision to discontinue the payment of dividends for the foreseeable future with the view of, subject to the requirements of the Company’s businesses, returning capital to shareholders in the more tax efficient form of a share buy-back programme. The timing and scale of any share buybacks are dependent on the requirements of the Company’s businesses, completion of our non-core asset disposal programme as well as the finalisation of the Monaghan Middlebrook Mushrooms’ legal case.
Mr. Ian Ireland did provide some guidance as to the out turn for the remainder of the year with expected adjusted earnings per share of 30c to 32c per share for the full year. It should be noted that this projection excludes any share of profit from the group’s shareholding in Monaghan Middlebrook Mushrooms.
With regard to Donegal’s shareholding in Monaghan Middlebrook Mushrooms, further to the Court of Appeal decision on 8 June 2016 and the subsequent Supreme Court decision on 27 February 2017, the rehearing of the valuation module is currently scheduled to commence on the 17 October 2017.
The Board remains optimistic about the global potential of the Group's Produce business, the high growth being delivered in the Group's speciality dairy business and the ability of the rest of the Group's businesses and assets to provide cash.
Mr. Vance thanked all stakeholders for their contribution in the last year.
Each of the resolutions proposed at its Annual General Meeting today were approved by shareholders. The full text of each resolution was set out in the Notice of Annual General Meeting circulated to the shareholders and available on the Donegal Investment Group website.