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Ireland's Glanbia exits dairy processing to focus on nutrition

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FILE PHOTO: COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease at Carrigallen cattle Mart
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Glanbia said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell its 40% share in Ireland's largest dairy processor for 307 million euros to concentrate on making nutritional ingredients for food producers and protein supplements for body builders.

Shares in Glanbia were up 2.3% at 14.3 euros at 0810 GMT after it said it was selling its stake in Glanbia Ireland to Glanbia Co-op, the majority shareholder and will use up to 50% of the proceeds for a share buyback next year.

It said the remainder would fund acquisitions.

Glanbia is looking at opportunities to add to its nutrition solutions portfolio, Finance Director Mark Garvey told Reuters, after it also announced the $52 million purchase of U.S. health snack ingredients business PacMoore Process Technologies.

The company said that it expected to hit the upper end of its 17-22% earnings per share forecast growth range for 2021, after a strong third quarter when it pushed through some price increases.

It said it plans further increases in early 2022 in response to the continued inflationary environment. Garvey said the price rises would be in the mid single digit-plus range after it upped prices by 4.4% in its Glanbia Performance Nutrition.

He added that he expected a spike in the price of dairy raw materials such as whey to continue into the first half of next year before beginning to moderate, but that increases in other areas such a labour would continue, particularly in the U.S.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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