Carr’s Agriculture division serves farmers in the North of England, South Wales, the Welsh Borders and Scotland, the US, Germany and New Zealand. The Engineering division offers remote handling equipment and fabrications to the global nuclear and oil and gas industries.
The trading update for the 19 weeks ended 13 July 2019 shows that diversification both inside and outside the agriculture sector has enabled the group to continue to trade in line with management expectations for FY19 despite the unusually mild UK spring and winter. The mild spring promoted grass growth, driving demand for silage wrap, fertiliser and tractor fuel, which partly offsets reduced demand for feed and fuel. US feed block volumes continue to rise as penetration of the eastern states of the US increases following the commissioning of the low-moisture feed block plant in Tennessee in January 2018.
The UK Manufacturing business continued to perform well as it worked on a strong order book backed by long-term contracts from the nuclear industry and a buoyant oil and gas market. While the remote handling business was relatively quiet, this was offset by higher than anticipated activity in the US as NuVision worked on two significant Mechanical Stress Improvement Process contracts extending to FY21. Work has started on the project for the US Department of Energy to develop a small-scale working prototype of NuVision’s passive cooling technology, which is intended to prevent a repeat of the Fukushima tragedy.