Carr’s installs board, including Harwood representative

Carlisle-based agriculture and engineering firm Carr’s Group said on Tuesday that previously announced board changes “are applicable with immediate effect” as it published a trading update for the year ended September 3, 2022, saying revenue rose 3.3% to £124.2 million and profit before tax rose 0.4% to £7.6 million.

Carr’s said last month it would apply to have the trading of its shares reinstated when its delayed results are published.

On January 4, Carr’s said its shares would be temporarily suspended amid a delay to the publication of its audited results for the year ended September 3, 2022.

In the board changes, Tim Jones becomes non-executive chair, Peter Page becomes CEO and relinquishes the role of executive chair, and David White becomes chief financial officer.

Carr’s also announced that Martin Rowland will join its board as a non-executive director on March 6, 2023, as a representative of Harwood Capital Management Limited “pursuant to a relationship agreement between the company and Harwood.”

Carr’s said: “The primary purpose of the relationship agreement is to ensure that the company is capable of carrying on its business independently at all times.

“In accordance with the terms of the relationship agreement, Mr Rowland shall be entitled to remain on the board of directors of the company provided that Harwood retains an aggregate interest of at least 5% of the company’s issued ordinary share capital.

“As at the date of this announcement, Harwood held an aggregate interest of 6.04% of the company’s issued ordinary share capital.”

Rowland is currently non-executive chairman of AIM-listed Smoove plc, a provider of technology for the housing sector. 

He has spent the last 14 years in a variety of investment roles, working for institutional private equity houses and investing alongside family offices.

In the current year outlook of the trading update, Carr’s said: “Trading in the early part of the current financial year was strong, but became more challenging in November and December 2022, with lower volumes of feed blocks sold in both the USA and UK markets and very competitive pricing for tenders in the engineering division.

“At this stage of the year, the board remains of the view that trading for the full year will be in line with its expectations and will provide a further update at the half year.”