According to a trading statement from the group, the ingredients and nutritionals division had a strong first half compared to last year, with both the Irish and American sections reporting positive growth. "A good first half performance and a relatively positive market environment supports the outlook for the remainder of the year for Glanbia," said John Moloney, group managing director. "As a group we are on target to meet current full year market expectations and look forward to delivering another year of double digit growth in 2008," he added. Relative to 2007, the Irish group reported that food ingredients and nutritionals had a strong first half year, with the Irish division experiencing better performance than the same period last year. The ingredients and nutritionals business is Glanbia's largest division. It produces cheese, butter, casein and protein ingredients at facilities in Ireland and the US, and also includes the group's nutritional businesses in the UK, Germany, USA, Canada and China. International The food ingredients division in the US was benefiting from strong demand and volume growth, said the group. The worldwide nutritional business was continuing to "perform well," with good results forecast for 2008. Last year's strong results were boosted by the global market for whey with particular potential coming from weight management, infant formula and sports nutrition. Ireland The food ingredients division in Irelands was affected by the "time lag between market price and milk price movements," said the company, with a "weaker margin" expected compared to 2007. Other divisions, such as consumer foods Ireland, the agribusiness, and property are all predicted to perform as well this year as last, if not better. 2007 results Glanbia's 2007 results showed an increase in sales of 30 per cent compared to 2006, of €1.4bn, and pre-exceptional operating profit up a massive 93 per cent to €85m. The margin grew from 4.1 per cent to 6.1 per cent. This result came against a backdrop of a 19 per cent increase in revenue for the group as a whole, to €2.2bn, operating profit up 35 per cent to €115.8m, and an operating margin of 5.2 per cent (from 4.6 per cent). The full results for the first six months of 2008 are expected on 27 August 2008.