Grain co-op Openfield reports drop in profit

Grain marketing and arable inputs co-operative Openfield Group has reported pre-tax profits of £358,000 for the year to 30 June 2020, down on the year-earlier figure of £460,000. 

The farmer-owned co-op said although group revenues rose by 1% to £638m, profits had been limited by investments in an operations restructure and new logistics systems.

Higher revenues were driven by a four-year high in total exported volumes at 912,000t, boosted by 2019’s larger wheat crop.

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Wheat was also of a higher quality than the previous year which reduced imports to a minimum, Openfield said.

Export volumes for the barley crop were at the highest since 2016 and Openfield said it needed 1,000ft-long Panamax ships to meet orders from Saudi Arabia.

Chairman Philip Moody said the group had restructured operations to prepare for a smaller crop year in 2020.

“This means we are able to look forward with confidence as harvest volumes for 2021 are expected to increase.

“Against this background we delivered excellent results in our grain marketing pools which, coupled with managed risk, continued to demonstrate the value of these options.”

Openfield performance to June 2020 compared with the previous 12-month period

  • Pre-tax profit £358,000, down 22%
  • Net assets (excluding pension fund) £27m, up 5.5%
  • Operating costs £15.5m, up 2.9%
  • Group revenue £638m, up 1%

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