By Mike Stones

FARMER-OWNED agribusiness Genus announced this morning that turnover rose 134% to 133.7 million in the year ended 31 March, 2000.

Operating profit almost doubled to 7.3m. Dividend will rise by 0.5p to 4.5p a share.

Contribution from the groups consulting division rose by 8% to 1.5m, through restructuring to cut costs.

The distribution business acquired last year, VDC, contributed 2.1m on a nine-month turnover of 55.7m.

The breeding division increased turnover by 11m to just over 47m, increasing operating profit by 4.6m.

Commenting on the results chief executive Richard Wood said: “In a hostile UK market, where farmers are in the worst recession for 30 years, we have maintained profit, at reduced value throughput, by the technical inventiveness of our better elite bulls.”

The results put Genus firmly on course for flotation on AiM by September this year as a stepping stone to secure eventual listing on the FTSE 250 index, he said.

By 2003, Genus would look to expand its vet business into Europe and/or its consultancy enterprise in the USA.

By 2005, the launch of a world-wide semen sexing business and the development of its breeding business in Europe would allow Genus to double in size, said Mr Wood.