Meaty problems as ANM losses hit £7m
An ATTEMPT to increase throughput at its red meat processing plants at time when stock were scarce and producers’ prices were rising looks to have backfired and cost one of Scotland’s largest farmer owned co-operatives, ANM Group, up to £7 million.
Yesterday with the publication of the annual report of the Inverurie based organisation to the end of December 2011, trading losses at their meat plants amounted to £3,926,000 with further £2.7m losses marked down as post balance sheet events.
Following the departure last month of chief executive Alan Craig, who had espoused the expansionist policy 12 months previously, Pat Machray, who stepped into the hot seat, admitted the figures were “painful and hugely disappointing.”
The company had not been helped with the general collapse of the wider economy with less top-priced beef being bought along with greatly increased costs in raw materials.
Of the three main processing plants, Scotch Premier produced a loss of £1.79m on a £55m throughput, while Yorkshire Premier Meat had a loss of £1.387m on a throughput of £46,695m.
Part of this latter operation has now been closed down contributing to the £2.7m debit that will be carried forward to next year’s balance sheet.
Another meat processing plant, Charcuterie Continental ,returned a loss of £785,000 on a £3,724m turnover but it has been sold in the past month for an undisclosed figure.
Although putting no figures on current trading, Machray admitted the red meat processing sector was still operating in extremely challenging times.
“There is no quick fix for this business. It will take a bit of time,” he said.
He added that he was working on a strategic review of the company and he expected this to be completed by June when further changes might be in the offing.
However, Machray made it clear that the old policy of volume had been discarded and the emphasis now was on “margins and efficiencies.”
The company is still processing 600 cattle per week, which is much less than the target of 1,000 head announced last year. He also stated, it has also stopped much of its cattle buying in England.
The ANM Group trading loss was £2,517m on a throughput of £254m compared with a profit of £1,027m on a throughput of £224m last year. Lifting the figure from the meat processing loss was a profit of £1,223m, mainly from the core business of livestock trading.
The group also announced that a planned golf course at Maverston in Morayshire had been significantly written down in the group valuation as it is currently lying in a “care and maintenance” state awaiting either a buyer or a lift out of recession.
The balance sheet of the co-operative, which has 7,344 members mainly in the North-east of Scotland, is shown at £19,293m although a property revaluation recently undertaken by the group will up that by a “substantial” amount according to Machray.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East