RURAL retailer Wynnstay Group yesterday reported record pre-tax profits for its last financial year, buoyed by the growth of its specialist business which more than offset weakness in its agricultural division.
It added that while the UK agriculture sector appeared challenging for the short-term, it was confident for the longer-term.
The company reported a pre-tax profit of £8.6m for the year to 31 October, up from £8.1m a year earlier, when it had booked £350,000 of exceptional costs related to its acquisition of Carmarthen & Pumsaint Farmers.
Revenue was almost static at £413.6m, as growth in the specialist retail business offset a drop in agricultural business.
Its specialist retail division, which includes, Just for Pets and Youngs Animal Feeds, reported an operating profit of £4.9m, up from £4.4m a year earlier. It said Carmarthen & Pumsaint Farmers had performed above expectations.
Chief executive Ken Greetham said: “The trading backdrop was markedly different to the comparable period last year, with price deflation, falling output prices and a significant variation in weather conditions.
“However, the broad business base has once again provided a buffer against the challenges arising from the varied trading conditions during the year. The macro-economic factors driving long-term prospects for UK agriculture remain compelling despite short-term issues resulting from a decline in output prices.”