Farming co-operative, the ANM Group has announced a trading profit of £682,000, and is allocation a discretionary member’s trading bonus for the first time in many years.
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Pat Machray OBE, ANM Group Chief Executive, said: “As a result of our stronger financial position, I was delighted to announce the trading bonus. The bonus is a unique benefit for this year and is an acknowledgement of our appreciation for our members’ ongoing support.”
The CEO stated that the Group’s financial performance has strengthened in its trading and the work on the land asset base to increase shareholder value. He stressed that the Group cannot promise a bonus like this every year but is a thank you for the continued support received from its members. The bonus cheque, to be distributed to members in June, is payable to shareholders who have paid commissions in excess of £200. For members with less than £200 share- holding, the bonus will be allocated as shares – bringing them up to the minimum shareholding level.
Mr Machray announced that the Group has managed to maintain its profitability despite a challenging year for the auction side of the business with a reduction in cattle numbers; additional costs for much-needed repairs to its agri-hub at Thainstone Centre; uncertainty surrounding the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP reform) and volatile pricing. The ANM Group also worked to reduce its ‘carbon footprint’ in 2014 through the installation of a biomass boiler, solar panels and new LED lights at Thainstone Centre.
The CEO stressed that the Group has worked tirelessly to maximise its property portfolio throughout 2014. With a significant amount of work undertaken by the Group, the trading profit for 2014 is £682,000 compared to a profit of £755,000 in 2013 (2012 loss of £785,000, 2011 loss of £2.517m). The Group’s overall profit, after exceptional items and before tax for 2014 is £1,358,000 compared to £722,000 in 2013 (2012 loss of £7.089m, 2011 loss £4.066m).
Mr Machray added: “In addition to this profitability, our member’s benefits of dividends and this year’s bonus, as well as stocking agreement interest savings, commission cap savings and our member’s loan scheme’s enhanced interest rates amounted to the staggering value of £625,000 this year.”
It was also announced that the Directors are recommending – for approval at the AGM this month – that the maximum shareholding limit is increased from £20,000 to £50,000.
Mr Machray added: “We have received a huge amount of support from our members with an overall increase in share capital. Investment in the Group is important to our own growth and success and I would encourage members to continue to support us and to consider increasing their shareholding given the turnaround in the business in recent years.”
“As a co-operative, we act to meet the common needs and aspirations of our members and reward our shareholders for their participation and support. The Group offers much more than just a dividend, opportunities exist through our member’s loan schemes; new entrant’s schemes; stocking agreements and access to the ANM Group Charitable Trust – all of which support the industry and encourage the next generation.”
John McIntosh, Chairman of the ANM Group, said: “I am very optimistic about the future of the Group and with the potential we have in all divisions, there is no reason why ANM should not continue to make progress in the future.”
The Group’s AGM will be held on Tuesday 14th April 2015 at 7pm in the Thainstone Exchange, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie.