NWF ends year strongly, renews banking facilities
NWF Group reported positive trading in a year-end on Friday, with a strong performance in the second half surpassing market expectations.
The AIM-traded firm also announced the successful renewal of its banking facilities with NatWest Group, providing it with a solid financial foundation for future growth.
It said its headline profit before tax for the 12 months ended 31 May was anticipated to exceed £19m, surpassing current market forecasts after the positive momentum seen in the first half of continued throughout the second half.
Additionally, net cash at year-end surpassed previous expectations due to the improved trading results, disciplined cash management practices, and positive working capital movements.
In the fuels segment, NWF said it experienced a recovery in volumes during the second half, driven by a strategic focus on increasing commercial business.
NWF successfully integrated the Sweetfuels acquisition, which it said was performing strongly and contributing to its positive overall performance.
The board was actively evaluating potential earnings accretive acquisition opportunities aligned with NWF's strategy of consolidating the fragmented UK fuels market.
In the food division, meanwhile, NWF reported robust demand throughout the fiscal year, with storage facilities nearing capacity.
Finally, the feeds segment experienced solid demand for ruminant feed and ancillary products throughout the year.
The strong milk price and effective management of commodity cost volatility and inflationary increases contributed to the division's positive performance.
In addition to the trading update, NWF announced the successful renewal of its banking facilities with NatWest.
The renewed facilities, valid for a three-year term, featured “competitive” rates and would provide NWF with financial flexibility, the board said.
It said the facilities amounted to £61m, and consisted of an invoice discounting facility of £50m, a revolving credit facility of £10m, and an overdraft of £1m.
Moreover, an additional £20m accordion was available to support the group's development strategy.
“We have delivered a very strong result for the group and it's great to report that all three divisions have performed ahead of expectations in spite of the inflationary and cost of living challenges,” said chief executive officer Richard Whiting.
“The group is well positioned with a net cash position and new banking facilities to further develop and grow.”
At 1038 BST, shares in NWF Group were up 5.65% at 272.05p.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.