Farmersco-operative United Oilseeds Producers, which has a 30% share of the UK oilseed rape seed market and sells 20% of theUKs oilseed rape crop, has reported a 16.2% increase in net worth for theyear ending 30 June, 2014.
The Groups net worthincreased from 6,764,000 in 2013, to 7,861,000. The figure reflects thegrowing underlying value of the organisation, its businesses and services.
In addition, theco-operative, which has 4,500 members throughout the country and is the UKsonly specialist oilseed rape marketing company, said it paid a record 403,000profit redistribution to its trading members covering the period to year end2013. This years profit distribution is to be determined by the Board.
Whilst the groups averageturnover over the last six years has increased by 12% per annum, year-on-yearturnover for the 12 months ending 30 June 2014 was down from 241m in 2013, to163m. Year-on-year Group profits before tax were down 18%, from 1,805,000 to1,468,600. Nonetheless, return on sales for year ending 2014 increased to0.90% against 0.74% in 2013.
Speaking at a pressconference in Newbury Berkshire, United Oilseeds Managing Director, ChrisBaldwin, said: Against a background of difficult trading conditions anda reduction in the UKs overall OSR crop size, United Oilseeds Producers hasstill managed to increase its net worth, its return on sales, and pay itstrading members the largest redistribution of profits in its 49-year history.
Year-on-year profits andturnover are lower due to a 410,000 tonne reduction in the size of the UKs2013 OSR crop and the drop in the market value of oilseed rape. Forexample, the average price per tonne paid to United Oilseeds growers in 2013was 346.45, 15.8% lower than the 411.49 average per tonne price in 2012.
The market remains highlyvolatile, though we remain optimistic that trading conditions may improve overthe next 12 months, he continued.
Mr Baldwin went on tohighlight the significant role of oilseed rape within agriculture and thebenefits United Oilseeds brings to its members. Oilseed rape remains thekey break crop for UK farmers, not just because of the agronomic benefits itoffers, but also because of its earnings potential. As a farmersco-operative, our core aim is to help our members businesses become moreprofitable and provide them with genuinely independent choice, marketingservices and best advice. This performance shows that even in challengingconditions, we offer our members outstanding value.
Owned and run by farmermembers, we remain firmly committed to the co-operative ethos and increasingour net worth helps to ensure we can maintain our independence. We believe thisis particularly important at a time when there is some re-structuring of co-opswithin the agricultural sector which will serve only to limit genuineindependence and farmers commercial choice.
As part of the Groupsgrowth strategy, which included the purchase of its own Head Office buildingand Hubbards Seeds last November, United Oilseeds is also investing heavily ina new company-wide IT system that will bring significant operational andcommunications benefits to its members. The new system is expected to beon-stream in July next year.
Mr Baldwin said UnitedOilseeds own survey among its OSR growers shows that the average yield forharvest 2014 was 3.52 tonnes/ha, giving a total production figure of 2.39mtonnes. The area planted for harvest 2015 is estimated to be down 10.55% andusing a five year average yield of 3.5 tonne/ha, this suggests a total UK cropproduction of 2.128m tonnes.