Wyevale Transplants booms but group warns of tough year ahead

Wyevale Transplants has posted the best results in its 22-year history with an eight per cent increase in profits, but the grower remains cautious because of the recession.

The supplier of UK-grown planting stock for forestry, hedging and ornamentals said the weak pound had led to a surge in import-substitution sales to other nurseries. Managing director Steve Ashworth emphasised the role of external factors in the company's performance.

Ashworth said: "I would caution against over-egging our success because it is effectively an artificial sales cushion. Exchange rates can be a false cushion because once they shift back, if you have expanded you can be in trouble."

He said the coming season, which for his company starts this month, looks likely to benefit from the 20 per cent price advantage over foreign imports.

"The eight per cent [increase] came from sales to basic trade nurseries so we were directly import-substituting and, at the moment, that seems to be persisting," he added.

Wyevale Nurseries sales director Doug Reade said: "A lot of the success of the business is down to Steve's determination. Also, we have focused very much on reinforcing the British-grown and British seed sources and people are latching onto that more and more, particularly where they are looking for special provenance."

Despite the strong performance of the transplant business, Reade said the wider group was "battening down the hatches".

He said the record profits were a bright pocket in a gloomier group forecast, adding: "Overall, we are very concerned. Local authorities will have it tough; I think that it's going to be really difficult this season, regardless of whether there is a change of government. There is such a deficit of [government] funds and I think if anything is cut it will be the peripheral things like parks, not health or education.

"We don't know if there is going to be an upturn in the housing market but we are battening down the hatches on the landscape side. We have seen some very competitive prices around already because nurseries have to sell what they have grown."

 

Subscribe to Horticulture Week for more news, more in-depth features and more technical and market info.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Grower sundries - Options for nurseries

Grower sundries - Options for nurseries

Environmental factors are key for growers choosing the latest pots, growing media, fertilisers and labels, writes Sally Drury.

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Business Planning - Brace now for Brexit impact

Neville Stein advises how businesses can act now to protect themselves against higher plant import costs after the Brexit deadline.

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Bespoke apprenticeships and internal training are helping firms to get ahead in skills-shortage horticulture, says Rachel Anderson.


Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Whether you voted leave or remain all those years ago, a "no-deal" Brexit should worry you.

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I find myself in a difficult situation. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be present to hear details of imminent changes to regulations concerning Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) and oak trees. I heard details, asked questions and probed the implications of these changes. That may not sound like a difficult position to be in, yet I am uneasy.

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Lobby groups jumping onto fashionable campaigns, often to promote their own interests, can do much more harm than good. Take, for example, the move against black polythene plant pots and containers.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS Awards 2019

The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles