Carrs chalks up record profits

Carr’s Milling Industries has posted a record profit of £6.14m before tax and exceptional items in the year to September, following a rash of acquisitions.

The animal feed miller, which also runs engineering and flour milling divisions, increased its turnover by a quarter to £192m after buying rival miller Meneba UK and the feed business of WJ Pye, which went into administration in July.

Carr’s also made an exceptional £4.1m profit from the disposal of its Bendall’s site in Carlisle, partially offset by integration costs of £1.2m for the new businesses.

The agriculture division, which accounts for most of business, saw profits slip on an increased turnover because of fierce competition in the animal feeds sector.

But a programme of mill closures, including one in Penrith and two of the Pye mills in Shrewsbury and Blackburn, has taken surplus capacity out of the market, according to Carr’s chairman, Richard Inglewood.

“The integration of this business with Carrs Billington Agriculture (Operations) has been successful and we anticipate benefits to be forthcoming in 2006.”

While closing UK feed plants, Carrs is moving into the European market with a 50% joint venture in Germany.

It has commissioned a factory in Oldenburg that will manufacture low-moisture Crystalyx feed for the European market.

Operating profits from flour milling increased ten-fold from £270,000 to £2.2m, and the engineering division also boosted sales and profit.

The group’s retail business saw sales at its 14 outlets in Scotland, the west Midlands and the northwest grow 7% over the year.

It has also brought oil and lubricants into its portfolio with the acquisition of Wallace Oils in April.

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