Sales fall for growing media firm

A lack of aggression has led to a drop in sales for a growing media firm.

William Sinclair Holdings has blamed its lack of sales aggression against more “street savvy” rivals for an 11.4 per cent drop in sales for the last half of 2005. The Lincoln-based manufacturer of growing media, fertilisers and pesticides saw sales slump to £11.4m and losses before tax go from £1.4m in 2004 to £1.5m. Chief executive Bernard Burns said: “Our sales team hasn’t been very aggressive and I would like them to be more pro-active. We have tended to adopt a passive selling role and are being beaten by people who are more street savvy.” He added: “It is hard to get enthusiastic in perishing snows when last year the sun was shining. We have failed to focus on our main strength — growing media. “Meanwhile, we have looked with anxiety on tribulations with customers such as B&Q and Wyevale. Energy costs have almost doubled in a year, but everyone has the same problem.” Joint-venture trials with Freeland Horticulture, however, focused on a “fairly revolutionary” non-peat, green-waste ingredient for compost with low salt content, no pathogens and low weight. Sinclair chairman Bill Simpson reckoned recent investment and a new packaging line at Lincoln made his firm the UK’s lowest-cost producer of growing media.

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