UNITED OILSEEDS, the farmer-owned commodities merchant, reported a successful year‘s trading which saw the co-operative‘s net worth grow by 60%.

Pre-tax profits for the year ending June 30, 2004, hit £420,000, raising net worth to just under £1m.

Chairman Giles Rowsell said: “Given the current pressures on UK agriculture, this success reflects the huge commitment our farmer-members and our staff have made in the past year.”

He said the improved performance had been bolstered by strong support for the rapeseed variety Expert, which had given the firm a 15% share in the winter rapeseed market.

The firm said the good results meant it was better placed to capitalise on the opportunities presented by CAP reform.