Strong year for Fengrain as turnover grows by 15%
- Credit: Ian Burt
An East Anglian grain marketing co-operative has hailed a significant year of progress after seeing its turnover grow by 15pc.
Fengrain, which has its headquarters at Wimblington, near March, increased its market share and marketed record volumes of grain as well as investing in future growth in the 12 months to July 31, 2016.
One of the biggest projects has been to invest £1.85m in a 10,000-tonne storage facility at Great Ryburgh near Fakenham, in partnership with Crisp Malting Group, which was formerly opened last month.
A scheme for an anaerobic digester at Wimblington has also been approved as the group continues to grow.
The 952 member co-op increased its turnover to £100.7m from £87.4m which it said was the result of a 165,000 tonnes increase in throughput.
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Fengrain chairman Paul Wilkinson said: 'The future for Fengrain has never looked so exciting with numerous opportunities on offer and our reputation growing by the day.
'The target of marketing one million tonnes of grain in 2016/17 looks to be within our grasp.
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'The outlook for the year ahead is favourable, with yields and crop quality an improvement on the year just passed. The company has also been approached by a number of customers with a view to providing them with longer-term supply and provenance contracts.'
The group had a pre-tax profit of £249,646, down from £619,815 in the previous year, but finance director Kevin Cooper said this was a good performance due to market conditions and the amount of investment the co-op had made.
At Fengrain's annual general meeting, on Monday, farmer Anthony Boardman announced he was to step down as non-executive director after 11 years.
Rob Munro, Fengrain managing director, said: 'Anthony has had a hugely positive impact and his wise counsel has been critical in helping to create the strong, successful business we have today.
'It is our intention to recruit another member to replace him.
'This process is now underway and is aimed at ensuring we have the widest range of skills available to govern the company.'
Fengrain has also established a new operation in Kent which has traded ahead of expectation during its first year.
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