Farming, food and finance co-operative, ANM Group, has reported a trading profit of £470,000, for the year ending 31st December 2016. In addition, the group has announced it will pay a discretionary members’ trading bonus for a third consecutive year.
Pat Machray, OBE, ANM Group Board Chairman, said: “We are pleased that as a group we have recorded another trading surplus this year and continue to strengthen our balance sheet. Once again, in light of the results, we are delighted to allocate a discretionary trading bonus in appreciation of the ongoing commitment from our loyal members.”
Overall the group has seen an improvement in profitability despite the market conditions – as a direct result of additional throughput and revenue generated by the auction business, combined with lower operational costs and depreciation charges – and returned a trading profit of £470,000 compared to £354,000 in 2015. Members’ increased confidence in the group is also evidenced through an increase in share capital of £356,000 in the year which brings the total share capital to £5.5 million.
The balance sheet remains strong – with the group reporting a steady increase whilst highlighting that this does not reflect the increase in value of the land owned by the co-operative – with net assets excluding the pension scheme deficit amounting to almost £26.9 million at the end of 2016. The group looks to the future positively backed by its financial strength.
As one of Scotland’s leading co-operative societies, the group continued to work hard to promote its diverse range of membership benefits and services supporting the sector through the uncertainties of 2016. The total value of these members’ benefits amounted to £470,000 in the year and included dividends of £119,000; a £47,000 trading bonus; stocking agreement interest savings of £142,000; commission cap savings of £68,000; and members’ loan scheme’s enhanced interest rates over market rates of £94,000. The group’s stock on agreement and new entrants’ scheme supported 252 livestock farmers in the year with £7.7 million worth of cattle and sheep financed by the group.
Over the year, the group continued to invest considerable time and effort in its property portfolio – which is creating additional value – and this strong financial position allows the co-operative to further deliver the best possible service to its members.
Grant Rogerson, Chief Executive of ANM Group, said: “ANM Group is a unique business, our strength in diversity and our dedicated team of professionals are vital to our continued success. We will continue to invest in the business and our people ensuring we move forward and are in a strong position to continue to positively impact the communities and sectors in which we operate.”
All divisions of the group contributed towards the final results for the year, highlighting the importance of the diversity of the co-operative. The group’s core businesses – Aberdeen & Northern Marts and Thainstone Specialist Auctions – recorded an increase in the trading profit for 2016. This was as a result of the combination of increased throughput at the machinery, specialist and vehicle sales, and also the hard work and efforts of the livestock division who saw a significant increase in the throughput of sheep and performed well to maintain cattle numbers.
Despite a prevalent mood of caution in the rural property market, the group’s rural property service, Aberdeen & Northern (Estates) Ltd, reported a very good result for the year. Thainstone Events, including Porterhouse Steakhouse & Coffee Bar, significantly increased sales through the restaurant attributed to a new direction for Porterhouse and had another busy and successful festive season which resulted in a profit for the division.