Simpsons Malt looking on bright side after dip in earnings

Simpsons Malt has described its year-end figures as 'solid' despite a dip in sales and profits as it continues to pump money into the business.

Tim McCreath, managing director of Simpsons Malt. Picture: Jim Gibson

The family-owned company, which includes agricultural trading divisions McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP) and John Guthrie, pointed to increasing opportunities within the global brewing industry and continuing demand from distilling customers.

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The firm reported a marginal decrease in profit before tax to £9.3 million for its financial year ending 31 December 2016, compared with £9.9m in 2015, with turnover slipping to £143.8m from £160.7m.

Simpsons Malt, which is headquartered in Berwick-upon-Tweed with another malting plant at Tivetshall St Margaret in Norfolk, said it had continued to invest heavily in the business.

During 2016, capital expenditure amounted to more than £6.6m with the company’s new malt packaging facilities and warehouse at Tivetshall fully commissioned during the period.

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Boss Tim McCreath said: “The prospects for our malting business remain extremely positive. Distilling markets are relatively flat in response to recent weakness in whisky sales.

“With further investment in speciality malt production facilities expected to be commissioned in 2017, we will continue to lead by quality and innovation.”