The Aberdeenshire-based agricultural co-operative ANM Group has reported a third successive operating profit, albeit a lower one, after a period of restructure forced by significant losses from meat processing.
The business made an operating profit of £115,000 on a turnover of £8.37 million in the year ended December 31st 2015, compared to £503,000 on £8.50m in the previous year. Throughput (the business has a major auctioneering operation) was down to £123.5m from £129.71m in 2014. The trading profit of £354,000 (£682,000) is sufficient to pay a discretionary members’ trading bonus for a second year.
Losses at the Group peaked at £2.3m on a throughput of £254.9m in 2011, since when it has either closed or divested much of its meat processing interests, which included Scotch Premier Meat and Yorkshire Premier Meat.
The recent reduction in profitability is in line with difficult market conditions, with reduced livestock numbers affecting the livestock auction side of the business. Volatile pricing and continued uncertainty around the Basic Payment Scheme have also had an impact on farmer expenditure. During 2015, the Group’s stocking agreement scheme supported 264 farms throughout the North and North East with 8,695 cattle and 23,948 sheep financed by the Group, amounting to a value of over £8m.
The Group’s core businesses, Aberdeen & Northern Marts and Thainstone Specialist Auctions, recorded a trading profit for 2015, while Aberdeen & Northern (Estates), the Group’s rural and commercial property service, reported profits ahead of the previous year.
“In the face of some tough challenges in 2015, the Group maintained a strong trading position and we are delighted to once again allocate a small trading bonus in appreciation of the ongoing commitment from our members,” says ANM Group chairman Pat Machray OBE.
John Gregor, executive director adds: “2015 has been a very challenging year across all industries in the North East, particularly the farming sector, and our trading profit reflects the difficulties being experienced amongst our members and customers. As a Group, we are focused on ensuring the business meets the needs of the industry and maximising membership benefits.”