NWF: first-half revenue soars 35% to £542m

Chesire-based NWF Group plc, the business that delivers fuel, food and agricultural feeds across the UK, announced “record first half results” with group revenues and headline operating profit “significantly ahead of the prior year and the board’s expectations.”

NWF said revenue for the half year ended November 30, 2022, was 34.6% higher at £541.8 million “primarily as a result of higher commodity prices in Fuels and Feeds.”

Headline operating profit was £6.8 million, up from £4.7 million, with a strong performance in all three divisions.

Statutory profit before taxation rose to £5.9 million to £4.4 million.

Interim dividend is unchanged at 1p per share.

NWF Group CEO Richard Whiting said: “We have delivered a record first half with a good performance from all three divisions in spite of an uncertain economic outlook and inflationary pressures.

“NWF has continued to demonstrate its resilience as a business and has significant further growth opportunities.

“The acquisition of Sweetfuels in December highlights delivery of our growth strategy to consolidate the fragmented fuels distribution market.

“We have started the important winter period well and continue to focus on the long-term growth of the group, with a clear investment strategy, which is supported by a strong financial position.” 

In his outlook, chair Philip Acton said: “Following a very strong first half, the group has continued to trade well since the period end.

“In Fuels, demand for heating oil increased as cold weather was experienced in December, although we are unclear what the cost of living crisis will mean for domestic demand across the key winter months.

“Acquisition development activity continues, and the integration of Sweetfuels is following our proven post-acquisition process.

“In Food, demand was a little greater than anticipated leading into Christmas as retailers increased stocks of core commodity product lines.

“In Feeds, volumes and margin remain robust; however, there continues to be volatility and uncertainty around commodity prices.

“Across all three divisions there are inflationary cost pressures in labour and energy which are being managed.

“Our financial position is strong and we continue to focus on development opportunities, both organic and through targeted acquisitions, which underpin our continued confidence in NWF’s growth potential and future prospects.

“We have made a positive start to the year and consequently the board remains very confident in its expectations for the full year as we move through the significant winter period for the group.

“I look forward to updating shareholders later this year.”