NWF first-half revenue falls 11% to £309m

Shares of Chesire-based NWF Group plc, the agricultural business that delivers feeds, food and fuel across the UK, rose about 3% on Tuesday after it published half year results for the period ended November 30, 2020.

NWF said revenue for the half year was 11.3% lower at £309.4 million “as a result of the lower price of oil and lower volumes in feeds.”

Profit before tax was down 16.7% to £2 million.

NWF said its financial position is strong and it continues “to focus on development opportunities, both organic and through targeted acquisitions.”

In November, NWF reported a “cyber incident” that will cost the firm about £500,000.

On Tuesday, NWF chair Philip Acton said: “As set out in the announcement of 2 November 2020, upon becoming aware of unauthorised access to its IT systems, the group acted promptly to instigate its cyber response plan, backed by a bespoke cyber insurance policy, which provided specialist support to contain and manage the incident.   

“Following extensive investigations, supported by cyber security experts, the group is satisfied that the incident has been contained and additional security measures have been applied to all the group’s IT systems to provide further resilience moving forward. 

“The group confirmed that no information material to the running of the business was irretrievably lost as a result of the incident.  

“The one-off costs associated with the response to the incident, net of recoveries under the group’s existing cyber insurance, are not expected to be material.”

On outlook and future prospects, Acton said: “Following the solid first half, the group has continued to perform as planned since the period end.

“In fuels, demand for heating oil increased as expected as we move into the critical winter trading period, with acquisition activity now back underway.

“In food, volatility has continued with activity levels reflective of the unusual Christmas trading period this year and Brexit stock taken on to support customer requirements which will be utilised in the coming months.

“In feeds, volumes have increased as we move into the key winter months and there have been further increases in commodity prices since the period end.

“Our financial position is strong and we continue to focus on development opportunities, both organic and through targeted acquisitions.

“Overall, we remain confident about the group’s growth potential and future prospects and continue to trade in line with the board’s expectations for the full financial year.”