Bosses of newly-formed grain co-op Openfield are confident that last year’s strong financial performance of its two parent businesses (Grainfarmers and Centaur) will continue, despite weaker grain markets than this time last year.

In a joint announcement Openfield group (formerly Grainfarmers Group) said it made an operating profit of £7.5m on a turnover of £502m for the year-ended 31 July 2008 – up from an operating profit of £2.1m and turnover of £371m the previous year. Openfield Grain Ltd (formerly Centaur Grain) announced a £1.03m operating profit for the year-ended 30 June 2008.

Group managing director Tim Davies said the results reflected a “significant turn-round” in performance, largely on the back of internal restructuring achieved by the business in the period leading up to the merger last November.

Openfield chairman, Richard Beldam acknowledged the transition period had been difficult, but was confident the strong performance would continue, especially as savings from the logistical agreement with DHL came through. “Our current financial position is well ahead of that laid out in our business plan,” he said.

“Since Openfield has a structure that secures these benefits for its owners – a real point of difference between us and others in the sector – I am confident that our farmer members stand to gain in the long-term,” he said.

To find out more about DHL’s logistical involvement with Openfield see the latest Crops magazine.