RISING sales and food production pushed profits for Carr’s Group upwards, despite a decline in revenue, the company reported yesterday.
The agriculture, food and engineering firm posted a modest profit before tax of £10.6m for the six months ending 28 February, up by more than 5.4 per cent on the same period last year. Revenue, however, slid to £208.6m, a 2.8 per cent decline from last year’s £214.7m.
Strong agricultural sales in the US helped boost Carr’s Group profits and mitigate the fall in revenue, with sales volume in the region rising 12.3 per cent half on half. UK agricultural sales also improved in all areas except agricultural machinery, which fell 7.9 per cent.
The food division also showed a strong performance, as a new mill in Scotland helped drive flour sales volume up 6.1 per cent year on year, though dips in commodity prices caused revenue loss.
Carr’s flour mills supply bakeries, food manufacturers and multiples across the UK.
In the engineering division, the Group's subsidiary Walischmiller marked preparations for an upcoming £1.4m power manipulator contract with Russia, despite what Carr’s calls the “geopolitical difficulties” surrounding the country, such as the effects of sanctions due to its involvement in the war in eastern Ukraine.
Analysts at Investec remained confident about the company’s prospects, upholding its “buy” recommendation and stating: “The group’s diversity and past investment has stood it in good stead to weather the current market conditions.”
“The group’s main exposure in engineering is to nuclear rather than oil and gas,” Investec said.