Chairman says uncertainty over at Winchester Growers

Winchester Growers executive chairman Gordon Flint has said the decision by the shareholders not to sell the company has ended a period of uncertainty.

The firm is part of the Belgium-based UNIVEG Group, which had considered the business for disposal but decided to suspend the sale following a strategic review.

Former managing director Flint has been appointed as executive chairman of the Winchester Growers board of directors and former commercial director Simon Pearson has taken over as managing director.

Speaking at the Horticultural Development Company Forced Tulip Flower Event at Winchester Growers' Nocton site, Flint said: "We'd fallen between two stools, with the Winchester Growers shareholders trying to sell. No sale has happened and it's staying where it is.

"After the summer, we're set to transfer our main site up here now that we know where we're going. The period of uncertainty is over."

Winchester Growers, one of the largest daffodil growers and packers, also grows and pack tulips, gladioli, lilies and other seasonal flowers.

Flint said the company will have grown 52 million tulips by the end of the season, ten per cent more than last year. The firm had a turnover of £51m in 2012.

He added: "The weather is holding us back and a lot of crops are behind."

See page 12.

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