Agri firms notch up good growth in 2005

The agri-business sector is in better shape than some would expect, according to new figures from financial publishing firm Plimsoll.

Analysis of results for the 2004/2005 financial year show that almost 7% of firms showed a growth in turnover over the previous year.

Agri-chemical and machinery firms improved the most, with both sectors notching up 7.9% growth.

Agricultural consultants were the only group to see a decrease in turnover, which fell 1.3%.

But grain-trading firms were the most consistent performers with almost 25% of the 228 surveyed boasting turnovers up over 10%.

However, Plimsoll’s senior analyst David Pattison said the firm did not look at why turnover had improved specifically in the various sectors and conceded it could be down to companies amalgamating or an upturn after a poor period of sales.

“The industry still has a long way to go and there are individual cases with issues and problems, but these figures suggest that this is a reasonable market to have a business in,” he said.

Return on investment at agri-businesses was also encouraging, he added.

Animal health firms were rated highest overall at 6.9%, while 112 agri-machinery outfits had a return of over 10%, which Mr Pattison said was the benchmark for serious investors.

Full details of the figures are available by phoning 01642 626 400.