31 March 1995

Feed profits eaten away

BIGGER profits from animal feed were more than offset by losses on pigs and problems with malt in the past financial year for Harrisons and Crossfield, owner of BOCM Pauls and Pauls Malt.

Overall, the agri-businesses made a 16% lower contribution of £23.7m to group operating profits of £108m in 1994.

Pauls Malt had a particularly difficult year, with profits down 43% as low sales prices were aggravated by higher malting barley costs. But this higher raw material charge is now being reflected in sales contracts as demand picks up and prospects are improving.

"But market conditions for compound feeds have remained difficult and an important move has been made to focus the business on livestock species specific mills rather than geographic areas," the company said this week. This reorganisation has cost £2.6m.