Overall, Carr’s is trading in line with the Board’s expectations for the current financial year and significantly ahead of the prior year in both Agriculture and Engineering. The Group’s financial position remains strong.
UK Agriculture has begun the year positively, with improved farm incomes continuing to reinforce farmer confidence. Machinery sales remain strong and continue to reflect positive farmer sentiment on the prospects for UK agriculture. UK feed block sales also continue to be strong. US feed block sales volumes continue to recover as cattle prices for producers continue to improve. The new low moisture feed block plant at Shelbyville, Tennessee, is now fully commissioned and in production.
UK Manufacturing business is trading well ahead of the prior year benefiting from improved levels of activity. Work continues on the significant contract announced on 20 July 2017 and the order book for the business remains strong.
The remote handling businesses are also performing well. The full integration of STABER GmbH and the extension of the Group’s premises at Markdorf, Germany which are expected to complete during 2018 will provide additional capacity to support the ongoing growth of the business.
The integration of NuVision, the technology and engineering solutions business focused on nuclear markets, is progressing as planned. The Group remains enthusiastic about the opportunity to market Wälischmiller remote handling equipment in the USA as a result of the acquisition.
The Group’s financial position remains strong. Net debt as at 2 December 2017 was £19.0m compared to net debt of £14.1m as at 2 September 2017.
Tim Davies, Chief Executive, commented:
“We are pleased with how FY18 has commenced. We are seeing the continued recovery across both divisions and the investments we have made in acquisitions and research will continue to act as a solid foundation for ongoing growth.”