Carr’s Group says annual results will be ‘moderately ahead’ of expectations

Hugh Pelham, Carr’s Group

Carr’s Group, the Cumbrian agricultural and engineering business, said it expects to report annual results “moderately ahead” of the board’s expectations.

In a trading update for the 20-week period ended July 17, said the speciality agriculture division continues to perform strongly across the UK, USA, and Europe.

Livestock prices remain buoyant which, together with a continued recovery in the animal health business, has led to a significant improvement in performance compared with the prior year.

The agricultural supplies division is slightly ahead of expectations, with strong machinery revenues and an improved retail performance more than offsetting the negative impact of raw material price increases seen earlier in the year.

Resilient farmgate prices continue to drive farmer confidence in the UK.

Engineering performance significantly improved over the 20-week period, driven by contract wins, reduced overhead costs and a recovery in oil and gas prices.

Order books, particularly across the nuclear and defence sectors, are encouraging, having grown significantly during the financial year.

Cash flow remains strong, with net cash from operating activities materially higher compared with the equivalent period in the prior year owing to robust working capital management.

A second interim dividend of 1.175p per share will be paid on October 1, 2021, to shareholders.

The group said its performance remains encouraging owing to the strength of its businesses, range of products and services, and market positions globally.

Activity levels across the group remain high and ongoing standardisation programmes are expected to enhance future performance.

The company expects to announce its results for the year ending August 28, 2021, on November 22.

Chief executive, Hugh Pelham, said: “Trading conditions have remained positive in agriculture and have improved in engineering.

“Our business improvement initiatives remain on track. Carr’s is well positioned to continue driving further growth.”