Last year’s high grain prices drive Frontier profits higher

Higher grain and fertiliser prices in 2022 and 2023 helped to drive up turnover and profits at Frontier Agriculture.

Profit before tax at the UK’s largest grain merchant rose to £40.2m for the year ending 26 June 2023, up from £39m in the previous financial year, while turnover increased by £520m to £2.36bn.

Frontier trades about 5m tonnes of grain each year and has a 22% share of the UK grain consumer market, according to its annual report.

See also: Dismal UK crop conditions bolster new season wheat premium

Frontier group managing director, Mark Aitchison said: “Our grain trading and grain handling operations performed well, despite experiencing market conditions with exceptional volatility and unusual trade flows.”

The merchant, jointly owned by Cargill and AB Agri, works with more than 14,000 farmers and processes 135,000t of seed each year.

Mr Aitchison said exceptional crop prices during the year underpinned healthy combinable crop margins, which meant growers were buying higher volumes of fertiliser, seed and crop protection products.

“Looking ahead, I anticipate further growth in underlying earnings as we see the full impact of acquisitions, adjacency investments, strategic grain supply partnerships, capital investment in digital transformation, oat milling and banking, and the continued rollout of our strategic plans for growth,” said Mr Aitchison.

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