Scotts results show Solus effect

The Scotts Company (UK)'s latest annual report, submitted earlier this month, and covering the year to 30 July 2015, showed the impact of buying Solus on the business.

Overall turnover rose 13.8 per cent to £98.3m but there was an operating loss of £439,000.

Profit in 2014 was £4.4m.

The reports stated that "turnover was driven by Solus sales of £13.9m in 2015 and £2m in 2014 after Scotts bought the trade and assets of the garden centre supplier in July 2014.

The report added: "However, an exit sale began in June 2015 of Solus due to losses following the acquisition in 2014. The losses have contributed to the overall operating loss in 2015." Overall staff numbers decreased from 268 to 181 in the year.

Scotts continues to trade Solus’ Chapelwood birdcare and "invest in brands".

The directors’ report, by US-based Dale O’Donnell, said there was a "commitment to the UK market shown by a £70m share issue within the group with the proceeds being used to settle a debt with the [US] parent company".

No dividend was issued for the year by the Frimley-based fertiliser, chemicals, compost and garden products business.

Other company directors are Philip Jones and Aimee DeLuca. Martin Breddy resigned in January 2015 and is now at Squire’s Garden Centres. Sheila Hill is now UK general manager.

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