Wynnstay has reported a record year of trading over its financial year, which ended on October 31, 2018, across both agricultural and specialist agricultural merchanting divisions.
Sales from continuing operations rose by 18.4% to £462.7 million, with underlying pre-tax profit aligning to that growth, rising by 20.5% to £9.6m.
“I’m pleased to report record profit and revenue in what was Wynnstay’s Centenary Year,” said Gareth Davies, Wynnstay’s chief executive.
“These strong results reflected the continued recovery in farm spending that’s been bolstered by improved farmgate prices. This has been evident across the key Wynnstay divisions.”
The agricultural division saw operating profit rise 28.4% to £4.3m, as a result of record sales of feed, grass seed and fertiliser which Mr Davies accredited to 2018’s unusually long dry summer.
Likewise, the specialist agricultural merchanting division had a strong year. Operating profits rose 16.7% to £5.5m and like-for-like revenue rose 9.8%.
Mr Davies noted the continued expansion of the Wynnstay trading area with a number of acquisitions.
He said: “We now have a greater foothold in the West Country, further to the acquisition of the Countrywide Stores, and the acquisition of the Montrose fertiliser facility gives us our first operational presence in East Scotland. This has established Wynnstay as the second largest fertiliser blending manufacturer in the UK, enabling us to capitalise on increased fertiliser demand in the second half of 2018.
“Over the year, we’ve continued to invest across the Group to improve operational efficiencies, particularly in production facilities and logistics. We’re also continuing to invest in our advisory services and have established a strong team of specialists in response to the growing demand for introducing ever more advancements in science and technology.
“This has seen our advisory services assist farmers in reviewing and adopting relevant new products and practices as they seek to become more efficient and more profitable.”
Mr Davies added: “While Brexit uncertainties remain, we’re confident that British agriculture has positive long-term prospects, underpinned by macro-economic drivers as well as the UK’s relative lack of food self-sufficiency.
“Trading for the new financial year has started in line with management expectations. There are important trading months ahead and we will provide a further update at the Group’s AGM in late March.”