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Carr's Milling boosted by adverse weather conditions

Carr's Milling Industries increased half year profit by more than a third as adverse weather conditions in the UK and US increased demand for animal feed products.

Carr's Milling Industries increased half year profit by more than a third as adverse weather conditions in the UK and US increased demand for animal feed products.

The Cumbria-based firm reported pre-tax profit of £10.1m during the half year-ended March 2nd 2013, up from a £7.4m profit a year earlier. Revenue for the period increased to £231.6m from £196.0m.

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Group operating profit climbed to £8.8m compared to £6.7m while basic earnings per share increased to 80.8p from 54.0p.

Agriculture revenue jumped 17.8% and pre-tax profit rose 21.4%, following strong demand for animal feed in the UK and US.

"In the UK, the wet summer and autumn had an adverse impact on the quality of forage available and the duration and intensity of the 2012/13 winter has stimulated demand for compound feeds, in particular," the group explained.

"In the US, the summer droughts of 2012 covered two thirds of the land area and 80% of the nation's farm land resulting in low quality forage. In a similar position to the UK, the subsequent harsh winter conditions have not been favourable for farmers."

Chairman Chris Holmes added: "The performance of the group in the first half has been strong, significantly helped by the trading conditions created by global weather patterns. We anticipate that the benefits to the group of the adverse weather will continue in quarter three."

Food revenue was up 8.0% and profit before tax up 10.9% as cheaper imported wheat offset volatility on flour milling.

Engineering revenue surged 81.9% and pre-tax profit rose 39.0%, reflecting demand for remote handling equipment and specialist fabrications from nuclear, petrochemical and other industries.

An interim dividend payment of 7.75p has been offered, up from 7.25p previously.

Net debt increased to £19.0m from £2.5m as at September 1st 2012.

CJ

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