Simpsons Malt records near £10m profit

Berwick-based independent maltster Simpsons Malt has reported a solid set of results for 2015.

Wednesday, 28th September 2016, 12:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:00 pm
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on a visit to Simpsons Malt.

The family owned company, that includes agricultural trading division McCreath, Simpson & Prentice (MSP), credited a positive end of year mainly on increasing sales into the global brewing industry and continuing strong demand from distilling customers.

The business reported a marginal decrease in profit before tax to £9.9 million (£10.4m) for the financial year ending on 31st December 2015 with turnover dipping slightly to £160.7 million (£168.7m).

Simpsons Malt, which has another malting plant at Tivetshall St Margaret in Norfolk, continued to invest heavily in the business spending £6.9 million primarily on specialty malt production infrastructure and packaging facilities. Since 2006, the family-owned company has invested over of £70 million at both plants.

Managing director, Tim McCreath said: “A strong home market for malt coupled with increased exports continue to drive the business, with sales surpassing the record high volumes achieved in 2014. The prospects for our malting business remain positive as we aim to benefit from the steady growth in the specialised and increasingly global craft brewing market. This lends itself to Simpsons Malt’s innovation in speciality malt.”

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The merchanting division, MSP, experienced a challenging year as a result of tightened profit margins in the agricultural sector.

Tim explains: “2015 was an exceptional harvest which in turn decreased cereal prices leading to pressure on grain trading margins. The knock-on effect is that some farmers reduced their farm input expenditure: this fall in demand, coupled with an increasingly competitive marketplace had a negative impact on merchanting revenue and profits. The prospects within this sector remains challenging, however we are confident we can meet these head on by delivering consistently high levels of service and expertise to our customers.”

Tim added: “While arable farming returns remain historically low we are pleased to be able to provide stability and certainty to a significant number of farmer growers through our tailored malting barley purchase contracts.”

Looking ahead, Tim said: “We will continue our strategy for growth by continuing to invest in our malting facilities to further secure home markets while developing global opportunities, particularly in North America. Our people are essential to this success and we will continue to invest in training and development in order to service our customers at the highest level.”