ANM Group, Scotland’s leading farmer co-op has announced an increase in annual profits of almost £1m, despite a drop in the profitability of its marts division.

The group made £1.7m in the twelve months to December 2007, up from £770,000 in the previous year.

But the group’s parent company, which includes Aberdeen and Northern Marts and Thainstone Specialist Auctions, posted a profit of £830,000 for the year, down from £1.1m in 2006.

Satisfactory

Brian Pack, ANM Group chief executive, said the figure was “satisfactory” in light of the hit the industry had taken following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease last year.

Despite the drop in the ANM’s auction mart profits, some of the group’s slaughter businesses had shown dramatic improvement after a “difficult 2006”, Mr Pack said.

Scotch Premier Meat turned around a £391,000 loss in 2006 to achieve profits of £379,000 in 2007.

Profits

Yorkshire Premier Meat also benefited from improved market conditions and reduced production costs, seeing profits rise by £363,000 to £450,000 last year.

Mr Pack said that while most of the results were positive, he was aware there would be challenges in the coming months.

“Like the agricultural production industry, we expect returns to become more volatile. It is inevitable that processors will experience change,” he said.