Carlisle-based agriculture and engineering firm Carr’s Group announced a trading update for the year ended September 2, 2023, saying its order book has reached a record £63 million up from £41 million in 2022.
“Since the last trading update on 4 August 2023, the group has performed in line with the board’s revised expectations.
“Despite a soft first half, a strong second half for the engineering division will result in profit for the full year being only marginally below that of FY22.
“The order book has reached a record level, finishing the year at £63m (August 2022: £41m), which gives confidence in growth prospects in FY24 and looking further ahead into FY25.
“Conditions in Speciality Agriculture continue to be challenging and as previously indicated, adjusted operating profit will be significantly below the prior year.
“Feed block volumes in both the UK and the USA were lower than last year, with drought conditions in parts of the USA and high farm input costs in the UK suppressing demand.
“The challenging conditions in both markets are expected to continue in the year ahead but the Board anticipates a return to growth in the medium and long-term.
“Central costs will be marginally lower than forecast at the previous update, with further savings anticipated in FY24.
“The group closed the year with net cash (excluding leases) of £4.2m (FY22 continuing group: net debt of £14.0m).
“Since the end of the financial year, this has been supplemented by significant customer receipts, with a further £4.0m related to the disposal of Agricultural Supplies division expected in October 2023.”