The European feed business, ForFarmers, achieved a 2.9% growth in feed sales in the first half of 2016, reaching a total of 4.6 million tonnes, despite the Brexit issue and the impact of the weakening pound on its UK operation.
The company’s volume growth was mainly driven by increased sales in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, countries which also enabled the business to report “fairly stable” gross profits, offsetting a decrease in contribution from the UK.
This left earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) up by 7.2% to €46 million (£39.3m), thanks to the result of cost reductions, following the “further implementation” of the One ForFarmers efficiency programme.
“We believe in a strong future for the agricultural sector and continue to dedicate ourselves to this fully,” said ForFarmers CEO, Yoram Knoop.
“By that we mean the (future) continuity of the farm, but also the future in a broader sense: a healthy future for the sector and for sustainable food manufacturing as a whole. We do this in close collaboration with our customers, for a better return at the farm, a healthier livestock and a higher efficiency.”
Mr Knoop also commented, however, that the first half of the year had seen farmers still facing challenges due to continuing pressure on prices for milk, meat and eggs, with the same period also continuing to be “restless” over Brexit.
“The weakening of sterling also had an adverse effect on our results,” he concluded.