NWF Agriculture has reported “robust” feed volumes from the first quarter of its current financial year, in a trading statement released to coincide with the NWF Group’s Annual General Meeting this week .

Outgoing group chairman Sir Mark Hudson, stepping down after 11 years, said Q1 trading, traditionally the group’s quietest period, is ahead of the same period in 2016 and in line with board expectations. Philip Acton is to succeed him in the chair.

“The NWF Feeds division has continued to focus on providing high quality nutritional advice and optimising operational and transport efficiencies,” stated Sir Mark. “Summer market volumes have been robust as the milk price continues to improve, margins are in line with our expectations and the anticipated cost savings from our new operating platform are being delivered as planned.”

The division has reconfigured its feed manufacturing footprint with the closure of a feed mill in Staffordshire and expansion of a former Jim Peet plant in Cumbria. This gives it a better geographic spread from Somerset to the North West England to serve customers across the livestock belt of England and southern Scotland. 

The NWF Food division traded on budget while the Fuels distribution business saw improved profitability. The board said the group will continue to focus on development opportunities, both organic and through targeted acquisitions.