Increased revenues and profit for Bury St Edmunds meat storage and trading firm Norish

Increased exports of UK pigmeat to China have boosted the trading division of Norish.

Increased exports of UK pigmeat to China have boosted the trading division of Norish. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

Cold storage and commodity trading company Norish has reported increased revenue and profits for the first half of the year.

Turnover at Bury St Edmunds-based firm grew to £15.6m in the six months to June 30, up from £11.8m in the same period last year, with profit rising to £235,000 from £162,000, including a loss of £40,000 on activities now discontinued.

Revenue from its continuing temperature-controlled businesses, which include sites in Bury and Braintree, rose to £6.3m, from £5.7m.

Growth was led by the North West cold store division, involving sites in Birmingham and Wrexham, which benefited from growth in exports of pig meat to China.

Norish said that the South East division, which includes two sites in Kent as well as those in Suffolk and Essex, “performed below the same period last year, reflecting the short term costs of preparing for a new longer term contracted customer”.

“We also had a slow start to the year at our Bury site,” it added: “We are pursuing initiatives to improve both revenue and margin mix in this division.

“While it is early days, the sales initiatives undertaken, to date, look promising for 2017. In the short term, contribution in this division will be impacted by an ongoing refurbishment programme at the Bury St Edmunds site, which we expect to complete by November 2016.”

Most Read

Revenue from commodity trading increased to £9.3m, from £6.1m in last year’s first half, and Norish said it was continuing to invest to grow the division. It includes Town View Foods, which trades mainly in beef, pork, lamb and chicken, and Foro International Connections, which mainly trades in fish, dairy and fast-moving consumer goods.

Norish said that it had not, at this stage, “seen any appriciable change” to its business as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

Looking ahead, it added: “We are continuing to invest in our cold storage assets which we believe will lead to both reduced costs and increased productivity.

“We expect the demand for cold storage in the UK to grow, post Brexit, as cheaper proteins are imported into the UK, from other countries, further afield.

“We are happy with both the quality and locations of our assets, and the opportunities we see in the market place to grow the business.”