Carr’s Group, the international agriculture, food and engineering conglomerate has increased turnover against weather conditions which affected demand for some of its products.
The firm, which has its headquarters in Carlisle and operates a substantial flour mill at East Bridge, Kirkcaldy, shrugged off challenging market conditions for its agriculture section to deliver revenue of £403.9 million for the year ending August 31 2019 – an increase of 0.2% against the previous year.
In the annual report, chairman Chris Holmes, said the group had delivered a financial performance “moderately ahead” of the board’s expectations.
“He said: “The period saw further investment across both our agriculture and engineering divisions to enhance our capabilities and position the group for further growth.”
Mr Holmes said the agriculture division performed well in challenging market conditions which saw unseasonable mild and dry weather during the winter and spring impact sales volumes in the UK and across Europe.
Wet weather in the USA had also reduced demand for feed blocks, which had impacted sales volumes.
However, the impact has been substantially mitigated though cost saving measures including manufacturing efficiencies and improved procurement.
Turning to the performance of the engineering division, Mr Holmes said: “Our engineering division delivered another strong performance, building on the momentum of the previous year.
“Towards the end of the year, we brought together our existing and recently acquired businesses through the establishment of a new divisional structure.”
The firm acquired service and manufacturing company NW Total, which provides solutions to the nuclear defence, nuclear decommissioning and nuclear power generation industries in June 2019 for a total cash consideration of up to £9.6m.
Reported pre-tax profit increased from £15.5m to £16.3m across the period, an increase of 5.2%.
The firm employs more than 1,100 staff, bringing a bill for salaries and associated costs of £48.4m.
Mr Holmes said: “Trading in the new financial year has started in line with the board’s expectations in agriculture.
“In engineering, we have had a slower start than expected due to contract phasing, however order books are strong and we remain confident in the full year outlook.”