East Anglia: Maltsters Simpsons celebrate turnover increase

A Scottish maltster with links to East Anglia has enjoyed a marked increase in turnover as it celebrates its 150th anniversary.

Berwick-upon-Tweed-based Simpsons Malt Limited, which has a maltings at Tivetshall St Margaret in Norfolk and is supplied by East Anglian growers, saw its turnover go to �134,596,000 last year compared to �109,000,000 in 2010.

Its pre-tax profits were down slightly at �8,810,000 from �9,353,000 in 2010. Last year, it acquired John Guthrie Limited, an agricultural merchant in Angus.

The group also spent more than �3million on a new malting barley storage and intake facility at its Berwick-upon-Tweed malting facility.

In the company’s annual report for the year ended December 31, 2011, managing director Tim McCreath reflected on “yet another year of investment, achievement and success” and said the group’s prospects remained positive.

“Recent investments enable the group to deliver its core strategic objective of delivering a secure and sustainable malt supply chain,” he said.

“We have not been immune from the economic challenges but through a combination of prudent investment and a sterling effort by management and staff to maintain growth, we have emerged from 2011 with our affairs in good order.”

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He added: “Supporting UK agriculture; consolidating supply relationships; and improving working practices with suppliers and customers to ensure that a sustainable supply chain can deliver quality product, lies at the heart of our company’s remit.

“We are confident that agriculture and whisky distilling will remain resilient as global demand for food and premium brand whisky increases. The UK brewing sector as a whole remains flat, but continues to be an important sector with our brewing customer base.”

Tweed Valley Maltings in Berwick-upon-Tweed is the company’s largest malting plant and also houses the central laboratory. Annual production is over 230,000 tonnes of malt and there’s storage for a similar amount of barley. In Norfolk, Tivetshall St Margaret produces 50,000 tonnes of malt and has storage capacity for 69,000 tonnes.