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Glanbia warning over Brexit acquisitions

By Staff Reporter

Published 18/08/2016

Uncertainty: Siobhan Talbot
Uncertainty: Siobhan Talbot

The slump in sterling since June's Brexit vote does not make the UK any more attractive for Glanbia's potential acquisition activity, the Irish food group's managing director has said.

The pound has sunk 12% against the euro and nearly 15% against the dollar since the day after the vote. That has bolstered interest in acquisition activity in the UK by foreign buyers.

Glanbia is active in the country primarily through joint ventures and associates, and owns the milk supply element of Fivemiletown Cheese.

Profits at the firm rose 11.2% to €176.5m (£153m) in the first half of the year, propelled by its performance nutrition and value-added nutritionals business.

Group revenue declined 2.1% to €1.83bn (£1.6bn), as turnover at joint ventures and associate companies fell.

Glanbia Cheese, which is a joint venture between Glanbia and US firm Leprino Foods, processes about 20% of all milk produced in Wales. But the UK accounted for less than 10% of its €3.6bn (£3bn) revenue last year.

Managing director Siobhan Talbot said the slump in sterling would not make it rush into buying a UK company because it was not a major market.

"What Brexit has done is dial up uncertainty that we never welcome," she added.

"The currency has moved, but I think it would be more on the edges of whether that makes what may already have been an attractive asset more attractive, rather than currency just driving a decision in itself."

Belfast Telegraph

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