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Farmer-owned co-op Fram Farmers saw turnover rise by 5% to £178.8m in the financial year ending 30 June 2017.

The group has acknowledged it has been another challenging year but says it achieved a positive cashflow from its operations and its capital and reserves reached a record level of £3.5m (£3.3m in 201-16).

The Suffolk-based co-op’s 1,400 members placed nearly 5% more orders than last year, with the number of invoices processed rising from 204,000 to 214,000.

See also: Fram Farmers turnovers dips after challenging year

Overall, Fram Farmers reported an operating surplus of £184,362, compared with £141,000 in 2015-16.

The value of manufacturers’ rebates, which are passed back in full to farmers to help offset their membership fees, was £436,000. However, this was down  £679,426 in 2015-16.

“Given the uncertainties over Brexit and pressure on margins within the agricultural sector, I am pleased with the group’s performance during the last financial year,” said chief executive Richard Anscombe.

“During the year we have made significant investments in frontline services, our people and systems to maximise the quality and value of the pro-active service which we provide for our members.”

Mr Anscombe highlighted the co-op had seen growth in its purchasing, livestock and insurance departments over the past 12 months.

The livestock department, which sells everything from straights and compound feed, to vet meds and dairy chemicals, grew by 20%, taking turnover to £33m.

The amount of grain traded through the co-op, using marketing partner ADM Direct, was 195,000t with 116,500t committed to their combinable crop marketing pools – close to its highest-ever level.

Framtrade, the wholly owned retail subsidiary which supplies oil and gas products to more than 4,000 members of the public, achieved a pre-tax operating profit of £271,484 (£273,520 in 2015-16).