H&H Group PLC has just released its yearly results up to 30th June 2020, which reflect both the stand-out successes and business stresses which came in response to the global pandemic. Adverse economic conditions with deep slowdowns across all sectors meant that the progress during the first half of the year was compromised by the lockdown context of the last trading quarter.
The results indicate an overall operating profit of £742,000, with a profit before tax of £330,000, which is up £701,000 from the previous year. These positive signs indicate the hard work of the new Chief Executive, Richard Rankin, who is delivering a leaner and more future-fit business. This improved performance has only been possible with the dedication and adaptability of the teams across all the businesses, which make up the H&H Group of Companies which includes Harrison & Hetherington, the UK’s largest livestock trading company.
The business retains a strong asset base, with net assets rising to £19.4m. Yet for 2020, no final dividend has been recommended as the Board remains intent on ensuring strong financial governance is in place across the Group. This is especially so in the current economic climate, with the Board focused on its responsibility to secure cash flow and build long term value.
Reflecting on the results Richard Rankin, Chief Executive, said: “During an unpredictable and fluctuating year, the Group has managed to continue to invest and perform relatively strongly. Despite hard-earned gains almost being wiped out by one bad debt, indirectly linked to COVID-19 halting the restaurant meat trade, Harrison & Hetherington Farmstock Auctioneers still adapted seamlessly to new restrictions. This meant finishing the year ahead of budget and managing to deliver record trading volumes in Q4.
“There are still plenty of opportunities to develop our existing business especially on-line, and the brand has continued to grow and strengthen in terms of sales and its reputation for expertise in the sector, particularly around development and delivery of new technology. This is an important asset for us to build on. We are in an ideal strategic position to respond to the needs of both digital and physical marts, and, going forward, our aim is to build on the successes of the online pedigree cattle, sheep and machinery sales that have already taken place.