Profits slipped at farming supplies firm Carr’s Group in the first half of its financial year, it revealed today, as it withstood Brexit uncertainty and mild weather to stay on track with full-year expectations.
Profit before tax fell 2.6 per cent to £10.3m in the six months to the start of March, compared to the same period last year, Carr’s said.
Meanwhile revenue grew three per cent year on year to £206.2m.
However, net debt rose 51 per cent compared to the end of September 2018 to climb to £23.3m.
Basic earnings per share dropped to 8.3p, a 7.8 per cent decline on the same period in 2018.
Carr’s still upped its dividend, though, increasing it 4.7 per cent to 1.125p per share.
What Carr’s said
Chief executive Tim Davies said: “The group delivered a good performance during the first half of the financial year and trading remains in line with the board’s expectations for the full year.
“During the period, our agriculture division was impacted by challenging external market conditions, including unseasonably mild weather in marked contrast to the same period in 2018, and continued uncertainty in the UK around Brexit.
“However, we were able to mitigate the effect of these challenges through improved efficiencies, operating cost controls and better procurement.”
What analysts said
Analysts at Edison said the firm had managed to deliver income growth despite the “well-publicised issues in the UK agriculture sector”.
Carr’s share price dropped 13 per cent last month, after rival firm Wynnstay issued a profit warning attributed to Brexit uncertainty.
Its shares have since made a full recovery, which Edison said was due tot the diversified nature of Carr’s business model.
Carr’s secured a major contract in the US in January, valued at $8.5m (£6.5m). A month earlier, it had also gained “significant funding” from the US Department of Energy to develop its passive cooling technology, which has the potential to be retrofitted on existing nuclear power plants.
Analysts at Shore Capital Markets said the firm is in a “good position” as a result of such investment.