Carr’s Group to continue UK investment

Agricultural and food business Carr’s Group has set out growth plans for its UK and global divisions following its full-year results. 

The group’s overall revenue was down 4.1% to £411.6m, compared to £429m in 2014 while its EBITDA was up 6% to £21.6m and profit before taxation was up 5.5%.

Its agricultural division’s profit before tax was up 8.8% to £10.4m thanks to its US feed block business performing strongly over the period.

The business’ retail division grew sales 8.6% over the year while like-for-like sales increased by 5.3%. In the UK, it has 30 Country Store sites and plans to grow this further.

Speaking to Meat Trades Journal, CEO Tim Davies said that the company will be looking at further investment in the future and examining new geographical regions to expand its retail division into. “We look at the localities that we’re not in and see if our offering will fit into that region and if farmers would respond to our offer. We can do more in Scotland and areas in England like Derbyshire. We’ll identify target areas and then get people on the ground to gauge if it’s viable.”

The company acknowledged the challenges currently facing the UK agricultural market and warned that fortunes were not going to change overnight. “We hope to see the recovery start next year. A quick fix won’t work and there will be some long-term impact on the industry.”

On the global side, it plans to use its recent move into Brazil as a stepping stone for the rest of South America. “It’s a good market to be in and we’re currently looking at finding distribution partners so there is still a lot of work to be done. We’re taking the learnings from our work in New Zealand and applying them to Brazil.

“Long-term, though, we’ll be looking at using Brazil as a hub for the rest of South America and any country that has a large ruminant livestock market.”

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