NWF in big board changes as revenue rises 20% to £1bn

Cheshire-based NWF Group plc, the business that delivers fuel, food and agricultural feeds across the UK, announced major board changes as it reported that revenue increased 20% to £1.05 billion in the year to May 31, 2023, and profit before tax rose 57.5% to £18.9 million.

Total dividend per share rose 4% to 7.8p.

NWF said CEO Richard Whiting has informed the board of his decision to retire from NWF in March 2024 after leading the group for the last 15 years.

Current group finance director Chris Belsham will be appointed CEO upon Whiting’s retirement and, effective August 1, assumes the role of chief executive designate.

Further, NWF said Katie Shortland will become chief financial officer on October 2, 2023. Shortland is currently Finance and Transformation Director at Midland Expressway Limited, having held other senior finance positions at Meggitt PLC and Rolls-Royce plc.

In addition, Philip Acton’s tenure as non-executive chair will be extended further for a limited period of time, until the 2024 AGM, “in order to oversee the transition and continue to facilitate effective succession planning.”

Acton said: “I would like to thank Richard for his substantial contribution to the positive development of the group over the last 15 years, leaving it well positioned for the next phase of its growth plans.

“During his time, NWF has significantly grown all three divisions through organic investment and acquisitions, whilst at the same time paying down all of its debt and raising the dividend in each of the last twelve  years.

“I would like to congratulate Chris on his promotion which recognises the key role he has played in the group’s performance and strategic direction since joining the board in 2017, and welcome Katie to the business, as we look forward to her participation in the execution of the next phase of our growth strategy.”

Whiting said: “It has been a privilege to lead NWF through its last 15 years of successful growth.

“The business is now well placed with strong performances in all three divisions, a clear strategy on which progress is being made and the cash generative capability and funding to continue its development.

“I am delighted Chris will be my successor as CEO and I wish Chris and all the great team at NWF continued success in the years ahead.”

On the results, Whiting said: “NWF has delivered another great result, significantly ahead of the market expectations at the start of our financial year.

“The three divisions have performed ahead of expectations in the year in spite of inflationary and cost-of-living challenges.

“Strategic growth has been delivered with the completion of two fuel acquisitions. With a strong positive cash position at year end and long-term banking facilities in place, the group is well positioned to continue its successful development.”