Sinclair reveals £21.5m compensation for Bolton Fell as it reports six-month loss

William Sinclair has made losses before taxation of £3.7m for the six months ended March 31 2014, up from £1.88m loss a year earlier. Sales rose to £21.8m from £20.4m.

Sinclair said retail sales were reasonable and new business from a major garden centre company was coming on stream. But professional sales had suffered a drop because of price rises initiated 18 months ago in response to a weather-related shortage of peat.

Chief executive Peter Rush said: "We're delighted with the £21.25m settlement of our claim at Bolton Fell. After four years of negotiations this is a a significant step forward and our strong financial footing will enable us to accelerate the transition to become the UK's most advanced manufacturer of horticultural products."

Some £9m was paid by Natural England for the Cumbrian site in 2010 and £12.3m more will be paid this summer.

Sinclair has a new main site at Ellesmere Port and a new sales force, mainly recruited from Rush's old company, Hozelock. The company is rebranding J Arthur Bowers and Growing Success and is introducing new products.

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