Chesire-based NWF Group plc, the agricultural business that delivers feeds, food and fuels across the UK, said on Tuesday its group revenue slipped 1.7% to £675.6 million in the year to May 31, 2021, and profit before taxation fell 10% to £10.8 million.
However, for the tenth successive year, NWF is proposing to increase its total dividend — this time by 4.3% to 7.2p per share — “reflecting the board’s confidence in prospects of the business.”
NWF said performance to date in the current financial year “has been in line with the board’s expectations.”
In its outlook, NWF said that in fuels “we have a proven depot-based operating model and a clear growth strategy to add to the network with acquisitions” … and “these (acquisitions) are being actively pursued and the opportunity for growth remains significant.”
It said in food “we continue to seek improvement opportunities to continue the progress made in the second half of 2021 and have sufficient contracted business to continue to build on our performance utilising the Wardle and Crewe sites.”
In feeds it said “with commodity prices stabilising and a good milk price, demand is anticipated to remain solid and we will look to increase business on the back of continued developments from the academy and others joining the sales team of a progressive national feed business.”
NWF said it has “a significant opportunity for growth backed by strong cash flows and flexible banking facilities alongside a strong asset base, adding: “We will therefore continue to consider acquisition opportunities, building on our successful track record of acquiring and integrating businesses, as well as investment in organic development.”
NWF Group CEO Richard Whiting said: “NWF has delivered another strong set of results, ahead of expectations set before the pandemic, demonstrating continued performance, delivery and resilience.
“Our teams have worked hard during the year meeting customers’ needs whilst staying safe.
“I’m proud of how we have responded to the challenges of Covid-19, Brexit and a cyber incident and exited the year strongly, with significant financial capacity and a clear growth strategy.
“There is a significant opportunity for growth backed by strong cash flows and flexible banking facilities alongside a strong asset base.
“We will therefore continue to consider acquisition opportunities, building on our successful track record of acquiring and integrating businesses, as well as investment in organic development.
“Performance to date in the current financial year has been in line with the board’s expectations.
“Overall, the board continues to remain confident about the group’s future prospects.”