Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Fane Valley

 

John Simpson

By John Simpson

Fane Valley Co-operative Society is possibly the most successful co-operative registered and trading in Northern Ireland.

The annual report consolidates the trading results for a group of seven subsidiary businesses, including Fane Valley Feeds, Fane Valley Stores, Forestview Trading, Whites Speedicook, Duncrue Food Processors, Hilton Food Products and Agricolor.

The trading and financial results in the year to September 1918 now exclude Linden Foods.

Part of the investment in Linden Foods was sold at the start of October 2017 into a Joint Venture arrangement (with ABP) so that the remaining investment in Linden Foods is now treated as a joint venture and is no longer a subsidiary business.

This change, approved by the EU Competition Authority, meant that £198m turnover was treated as discontinued. There was a relatively small transfer out of operating profit and pre-tax profit.

The reclassification of Linden Foods had a large impact on the number of employees in the group. Business development plans included, in 2018, capital spending of nearly £5.7m which included the direct purchase of new assets and the purchase of an existing business for £2.5m. The looming impact of Brexit is noted in the annual report which points to its impact on the ability of Fane Valley to attract key skills, particularly from EU countries.

During 2017-18 this affected the ability to take on new business because of a shortage of labour. Labour shortage was expected to remain a key issue during 2019.

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