Cash harvest for Anglia Farmers
A strong set of financial results have reflected a very successful year for agricultural purchasing organisation, Anglia Farmers.
Turnover for the AF Group, which comprises Anglia Farmers (the society) and three wholly-owned subsidiaries (AF Affinity Limited, AF Biomass Limited and AF Finance Limited) was £242 million for the year ending January 31 - an increase of five per cent from the previous year.
The group recorded a surplus of £165,979, an increase of 55 per cent on the previous year and increased the consolidated balance sheet to £2.2m at the year end.
Anglia Farmers is an industrial and provident society and at the year-end had 3,412 members. Average annual spend by full members was £106,000, showing a continued commitment to purchasing through the group. Anglia Farmers is also the lead project partner for EDGE Apprenticeships in Food & Farming, an initiative funded by UKCES Growth and Innovation Fund.
All business sectors have grown, with growth coming both from new members joining and existing members doing more business through the group.
AF Affinity Limited operates two divisions – Affinity, a professional procurement service for non-farming businesses and individuals which also operates village fuel schemes and FarmBuyer, which purchases livestock-related products for farmers across the UK.
The subsidiary had an extremely successful year, with turnover increasing by 80 per cent to just over £4.5m. After two years of continued development, its third year produced a bottom line profit of £32,963 after tax. Turnover of £1.65m was recorded by AF Biomass Limited. The straw marketing business recorded a loss of £49,796, reflecting the very difficult wet harvest in 2012. Over the current harvest year, AF Biomass Limited is set to be back in profit and is forecast to add £35,000 profit to the group’s accounts for 2014. AF Biomass continues to develop markets to add continuity to the straw supply chain for livestock farmers, as well as supplying power stations.
AF Finance Limited, which lent £2.6m to members through its peer-to-peer lending scheme during 2013, contributed £4,968 to the group surplus. AF chief executive Clarke Willis said: “These figures reflect another excellent year for AF. Our growing business across all departments and the continued focus on excellent member service sets us in good stead to continue this positive trend.
“This year’s figures showed increased volume growth across all sectors of our business. Lower costs of some of the major inputs were also reflected – for example, our members purchased 80 million litres of liquid fuel, an increase of nine per cent on the previous year, but turnover only increased by four per cent due to the low price of fuel.
“As well as posting another set of strong financial results, our business continues to develop. We are in a fortunate position of having no borrowing except for our office extension which was opened in November 2012.
“Over the past year, the Board has been reviewing corporate governance to ensure that the business remains robust into the future and our senior management team has been strengthened to help us continue to develop excellence in agricultural purchasing.”
Membership also continues to grow. At the end of the financial year, AF had 3,412 shareholder members who collectively farm nearly 1.1 million hectares.