11 January 2002

Co-ops record turnover

DEVON-based co-op Mole Valley Farmers reports that in the year ending Sept 30, 2001, turnover reached a best ever £89.51m, up 11.7% on the year.

Profit before tax rose 66% to £1.97m. Net current assets increased by 23% to £3.97m, and all external long-term bank loans were repaid.

A number of capital projects were delayed because of uncertainty about the impact of foot-and-mouth. As usual, no dividend was distributed to shareholders. The retained profit of £1.29m was transferred to reserves.

Turnover climbed across all sectors, especially feeds which rose 29%. Though fertiliser tonnage was down, MVF claims a bigger market share. Retail sales increased just 2% to nearly £46m.

A new fertiliser blending plant is to be established at Teignmouth Docks in Devon and investment will continue at both feed mills. During the year the Mole Livestock Initiative was established to link producers to product users. Its scope includes marketing dairy and beef-cross calves, as well as "conception to consumption" beef contracts.

Andrew Jackson will replace David Plummer as MVF chief executive after the annual meeting on Jan 24. &#42