Latest accounts show turnover growth for ornamental growers

Brexit, wastage, exchange rates and plant health are potential issues as nurseries report a generally satisfactory year in their new accounts.

Image: HW
Image: HW

Results were generally quite strong in 2016 according to newly published company accounts from growers among the Horticulture Week top 30 nurseries.

In the year to 31 July 2016, bedding grower Coletta & Tyson saw turnover rise to £23.1m from £22.7m with operating profit at £881,000 from £938,000.

Director John Tyson said the impact of Brexit has been assessed and strategies put in place. He said gardening traditionally has "ridden economic downturns well" as people cut back on big ticket items like holidays to focus on the home.

In the year to 30 September 2016, Seed and young plant supplier Ball Colegrave saw turnover rise to £26.5m from £25.3m and profit after tax rise to £2.79m from £2.31m.

David Austin Roses has seen turnover rise to £17.4m from £15.6m and operating profit at £4.4m from £3.9m in the year to 31 July 2016. Margin fell to 57% from 61%. Directors said strong branding, new breeding and targeted sales strategies will facilitate future growth.

Bedding grower and trader Allensmore Nurseries saw sales fall to £11.58m from £12.35m in the year to 30 September. Costs rose because of capital investment and strengthening management. There were improved efficiencies. Operating profit was down but within budget. The company had an improved cash position and a strong working capital position.

Pot plant grower Hill Brothers (Chichester) saw turnover rise to £13.31m from £11.56m in the year to 31 December 2016. Pre-tax profit was £502,000 (£701,000). Directors said the grower had a stable base of UK multiple customers and that it had been a stable year for indoor and outdoor plant sales, with results broadly matching expectations. This gives opportunity for future expansion and reinvestment in packing facilities. Product consolidation is also planned. But Hills warned there is a "challenging outlook" in 2017 because of European and global uncertainty which have "adversely effected exchange rates".

Wholesaler and retailer Dingle Nurseries saw turnover drop to £8.2m (£9.08m) in the year to 31 August after transfer of some sales to Derwen Garden Centre. Operating profit was £751,000 (£1.1m).

Hardy stock grower Wyevale Nurseries turned over £9.29m (£8.66m) in the year to 31 July with operating profit at £218,000 (£311,000).

Amenity plant grower Boningale had turnover of £7.45m (£6.83m) with operating profit at £375,000 (£540,000) in the year to 30 September. Results were "satisfactory" despite exchange rate pressure.

Bedding grower Bordon Hill Nurseries saw "good growth" with £7.8m turnover (£7.5m) in the year to 30 September 2016 and controlling costs and good investments saw operating profit up to £456,000 from £222,000. Brexit is a concern with increased production material costs and potential labour issues.

Amenity plant grower James Coles and Sons Nurseries increased turnover to £7.4m from £6.6m in the year to 30 September. Operating profit fell to £58,000 from £105,000 after selling a parcel of land in 2015. James Coles said results were satisfactory after tight control on costs and systems improvements. Risks were potential plant health authority "potentially severe measures". Coles will review where it buys stock and will follow any official guidelines to keep a clean nursery.

Young plant grower Volmary in Wisbech (which bought Delamore in 2015) saw turnover fall to £5.97m from £6.3m in a "challenging market". The young plant grower increased sales in the core business area at the expense of bigger accounts where the growers remain "very cautious" following difficult high wastage years. Gross profit fell to £1.05m from £1.25m and EBITDA was £157,000 from £392,000.

Hillier, Farplants and Johnsons of Whixley have also shown turnover rises in recently published accounts.

Taylors Bulbs has also recently issued accounts, showing a small turnover fall.

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