ANM Group bounced back into the black last year despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis and Brexit uncertainty.
The north-east farmers’ co-operative, which runs auction marts at Thainstone near Inverurie and Quoybrae in Caithness, posted a pre-tax profit of £136,000 for the year to December 31, 2020. This follows a pre-tax loss of £160,000 the year before.
The group also reported a 3.5% increase in throughput to £121.386 million, from £117.221m previously, and its trading profit more than doubled to £525,000 from £245,000 in 2019.
“After one of the most extraordinary years since we were established in 1872, it is with a real sense of pride that our group is able to report on a very positive outcome for the 2020 financial year,” said ANM Group chief executive, Grant Rogerson.
“All of our teams adapted brilliantly to new ways of working over the year and have continued to refine and develop the way we operate.”
He said the group’s livestock division – Aberdeen and Northern Marts – was required to adapt and evolve to Covid-19 regulations, but its position was strong.
Previous figures from the division reveal an increase in the number of cattle and sheep traded through its rings last year. The company sold 12% more sheep – equating to 30,550 more animals – and 2% more cattle in 2020, than were traded in 2019.
Mr Rogerson said Covid-19 restrictions placed an “unbelievable strain” on the group’s hospitality business, however its specialist auctioneering division – Thainstone Specialist Auctions – adapted well to the challenges and was able to provide services throughout lockdown.
He said the group’s estates division – Aberdeen & Northern Estates – witnessed a “very active property market” once the first lockdown ended, and the group was continuing to work hard to bring new value to its business park.
Mr Rogerson said the co-op’s members had invested more than ever before in the business and share capital increased by £357,000 to £7.2m in the year.
“Our structure means that the surplus this year will go straight into investing in the member experience, allowing us to continue to offer leading benefits,” added Mr Rogerson.
“Looking to the future, we will look to maintain and build on the positive progress made and ensure we deliver our core values. Put simply, the more who join us by investing in ANM, or trading with us, the more we can return to members over time. This set of results supports the value of that strategy.”
ANM Group chairman Peter Watson, who farms near Banchory, hailed the success of the co-op last year and said: “To generate a trading surplus of £525,000 in such uncertain times gives us confidence to look to the future, knowing we can continue to deliver for our members in even the most challenging of circumstances.”