Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Animal feed firm Harbro enjoys profits boost despite Covid challenges

Harbro's Birkhill Mill in Lanarkshire.
Harbro's Birkhill Mill in Lanarkshire.

Scottish animal feed firm Harbro enjoyed a 76% boost in pre-tax profits last year despite the twin challenges of Covid-19 and Brexit uncertainty.

The Turriff-headquartered company, which produces a range of animal feed as well as running a network of 21 country stores across Scotland, posted pre-tax profits of £2.989 million for the year to June 30, 2020. This is up from pre-tax profits of £1.692m the year before.

Turnover at the company was down by almost 3% to £115.193m, from £118.568m previously.

Harbro‘s managing director, Chris Baxter, said profits were up as a result of improved market share, new product offerings and cost savings.

“2020 was a difficult and challenging year for everyone and this has been no different for agriculture, with Covid and Brexit putting pressure on, and adding challenges to, both operations and service levels,” added Chris.

He said the business had achieved big improvements in efficiency during the year as a result of capital investment and implementing new operational systems.

Harbro operates more than 20 retail stores across Scotland.

“We continue to see growth in the business and are very encouraged with current year results, driven by increased market share and product development,” added Chris.

“Our retail stores are performing well in a tough space and we are delighted that product sectors such as pet, garden and horse, along with agri, continue to grow.”

He said the recent expansion of shops in central Scotland had gone well and the company planned to move its Lochgilphead store to a new site in the next couple of months to expand its offering in the area.

Chris added: “Following a fire in 2019, our reinstated Birkhill Mill in Lanarkshire is now the most modern feed mill in Scotland delivering improved quality and efficiency.

“We have invested in an automated mineral bucket line to meet increasing demand for our Energyze range of products, which has grown significantly in the last 18 months.”

Harbro’s chief financial officer, Ross Baxter, said the company had reduced its net debt by £5.5m to £10.8m during the year and its employee numbers had also reduced to 483, from 523 previously.

He said: “We have had a clear strategy over the last few years of focusing on working capital, cash flow and reducing our net borrowings.

“We have introduced tighter control, and capital investment decision-making with good discipline around return on investment. The consequence has been a reduction in both our working capital facilities and term debt.”

Chris said he was upbeat about the company’s future and the role it could play in helping farmers reduce the emissions on their farms and the use of soya feed products.

He added: “We are also committed to reducing our own carbon footprint throughout the business and have recently launched an environmental strategy and a number of internal projects to make the group lead the way in reducing carbon footprint internally, as well as supporting customers to introduce their own environmental initiatives on farm.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]