UK-headquartered feed firm Anpario has announced a 3% increase to sales (to £29 million) and a 7% increase in gross profit, taking it to £14.5 million.

Anpario is a leading international producer and distributor of natural animal feed additives for animal health, nutrition and biosecurity.

The firm's latest results for the year ended December 31, 2019, point to strong trading in Latin America and the Middle East and a welcome recovery in sales in Asia.

The firm also looked ahead at challenges, such as Covid-19 (novel coronavirus).

Anpario chief executive Richard Edwards said: “I am pleased we achieved such a solid performance in a difficult year for global agriculture markets challenged by extreme weather conditions, animal diseases and political uncertainty.

“We have made a sound start to trading in the current year and our strong balance sheet and cash generation provides us with the confidence that we can grow across our markets and capitalise on any opportunities which may arise.

We are very aware that the outbreak and subsequent spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) is causing concerns to all industries.

"While we have not yet experienced any material impact on our business, we continue to monitor the situation within our business and with distribution and supply channels very closely. We are taking all necessary safeguards,” added Edwards.

Anpario Direct

During the year, Anpario Direct’s online channel was launched in the UK to smaller farm customers as well as the equine and pigeon markets.

The company intends to offer Anpario Direct across several other geographic markets during 2020.

Also completed was the £1 million investment in the automated bottling plant at Manton Wood and all previously toll-manufactured products have now been brought in-house.

Anpario’s product development activity also continues with new formulations and extensive trial work with leading universities and producers.

These innovations and developments highlight the company’s ambitions to deliver health, production and performance benefits too. This includes being able to reduce and replace antibiotics responsibly as part of a biosecurity solution.

“Costs continue to be managed closely and sales of our three main product ranges, phytogenics, mycotoxin binders and acid-based eubiotics, grew as product brands such as Orego-Stim, Anpro and pHorce became more widely adopted by customers,” said Richard Edwards.

“Investing and developing our existing business around the world remains a priority, as does finding an earnings enhancing and complementary acquisition.

“The demand for our products is expected to continue to increase due to their effects of enhancing biosecurity, replacing non-therapeutic antibiotics and improving production efficiency which is what is now expected from consumers and farmers,”

Anpario’s Board is recommending a final dividend of 5.5p/share (up from 5.0p in 2018) making a total of 8.0p/share for the year (up from 7.2p in 2018).

International round-up

Latin America delivered a very strong performance with sales growth in both Brazil and Argentina.

The initial results of trials undertaken with North Carolina State University on improved egg-laying performance when using Orego-Stim, have been well received in Brazil.

These indicate improved production through additional eggs per laying hen and more consistent egg sizes.

Mexico also achieved good sales growth and Anpario has developed its business in a number of other Central American countries. It has also been targeting the aquaculture market, which is beginning to exhibit some early promise following recent product registrations.

The US agriculture market has been affected by the US-China trade dispute and a poor dairy industry. Anpario is now investing in additional resource to target the US swine sector.

Asia

It was a challenging year in China given the impact of African swine fever. However, Anpario’s strength in the Chinese poultry market has seen positive results and the company has had success in selling its acid-based eubiotic products for both broilers and layers.

South-east Asia delivered a strong recovery with Thailand, Bangladesh and Taiwan experiencing the strongest performances.

Australia is experiencing severe climatic conditions, including drought, which is making conditions for agriculture extremely tough, especially in the dairy and beef cattle industries.

Anpario has a number of business development initiatives underway including targeting the pet food industry.

The Middle East and Africa delivered a strong performance with major contributions from Iraq, Israel, Syria and the UAE. Growth was driven by increased sales of Orego-Stim as customers look to reduce and responsibly replace antibiotics.

European markets

The UK market was stable and Anpario has recently seen an increase in demand for its organic acid products for feed and raw material hygiene.

In continental Europe, the territories that delivered strong performances included Belgium and Italy, the latter benefiting from Anpario’s ability to supply products in smaller package sizes, for which our customers are increasingly requesting.

A German subsidiary has also been incorporated, and recently recruited a business manager to help establish a direct sales presence in other German-speaking markets.