High wheat and energy prices knocked British agriculture, food, and engineering group Carr’s Milling’s first half profits by 12.3%.
The Cumbria-based group said pre-tax profit was down to £3.6m (€5.28m) for
the 26 weeks ended 3 March from £4m (€5.87m) previously, but said that pre-tax
profit would have improved without adverse external factors within the food
division. Revenue came to £110.9m (€162.8m), €734k more than last year.
Overall sales still saw a slight increase, up 0.05% to £110.97m
(€162.9m), but profitability did suffer. The company said the fall in its
adjusted pre-tax profit figure was almost solely down to the impact of wheat
prices in its food division.
Chris Holmes, chief executive of Carr’s
Milling, said: “It looks like higher wheat prices are here to stay, which is
good for the farmers. It’s all just a question of timing for us, passing the
rise on. It’s not disastrous, but generally there’s a time lag for us.” Carr’s
biggest division, agriculture, performed well during the six month period,
increasing both revenue and profit. The Caltech feed block business again traded
well in the United Kingdom, Europe and in the United States. Sales increased by
14% in the first half.
Carr’s said UK agriculture as a whole was a
challenging market place this year compared to last. The company said this
reflected the continuance of a low farm gate milk price (with farmers receiving
as little as 17p (€0.25) per litre during the period), high energy costs, and
over-capacity in the animal feed market in the Group’s trading
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