Berwick based Simpsons Malt records £9.5m annual profit
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The Berwick-based company, which includes agricultural merchanting division McCreath Simpson & Prentice, recorded a profit before tax of £9.5million (2021: £7.1million) from a turnover of £273.8million (2021: £214.2million).
In 2022, it built on the benefits of having acquired the grain merchanting business of W.N. Lindsay Ltd in 2021 and the additional storage infrastructure it provided – collecting record volumes of malting barley direct from its increased number of growers.
The merchanting division, overall, experienced an excellent year with strong demand for all crop inputs and feedstuffs.
On the malting side, distilling malt volumes made up a substantial part of the overall traded volume and demand from this sector remained resilient, with year-on-year growth expected to continue into 2023.
The demand for brewing malt was steady, albeit slowing slightly as breweries faced increased operating costs. That, combined with higher malting barley values – a result of the conflict in Ukraine – and increased interest costs meant that profit margins declined in the final quarter of the year.
Simpsons Malt managing director Tim McCreath said: “In a year of global uncertainty, we’re delighted to be able to report a strong set of financial results, which can be attributed to prudent decision making, careful cost management and a focus on value added trading activities.
“With the conflict in Ukraine on-going and through witnessing the impact this has had on both grain and energy values, as a business we remain mindful of how geopolitical events – and other risks and uncertainties – can impact us on a day-to-day basis.
“However, with demand from the distilling sector continuing to grow and the benefits of our vertically integrated supply chain from crop input supply through to malt delivery, prospects for both the malting and agricultural merchanting divisions of the business remain positive.”
Also in 2022, there was an investment of more than £4.3million on tangible fixed assets – including a new grain dryer at its Craigswalls Grain Store and improvement in power and kilning capacity at its Tweed Valley Maltings headquarters in Berwick.
In addition, the company assisted its workers during the cost-of-living crisis with a £1,000 payment made to all full-time colleagues in August 2022.