A trading update from UK feed additive manufacturer Anpario reports a first half sales lift in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, although it is harder to estimate the full year effect. The update made at the Nottinghamshire company’s recent AGM foreshadows the release of interim financials in early September.

“The Group has delivered a strong sales performance and a corresponding improvement in our profit margins in the first half as some customers increased stock levels and previous business development initiatives came to fruition,” noted Anpario chief executive Richard Edwards. “We are conscious of the continued uncertainty around the world due to the pandemic and are monitoring the potential impact it could have on business as we enter the second half.

“The first half saw particularly strong growth in Asia, Europe and the Americas, but the Middle East market experienced a weak first half as the absence of tourists and religious celebrations affected food consumption. We are maintaining US sales despite meat processing facilities experiencing closures which led to temporary delays in populating farms with livestock.

“Encouragingly, sales in China are now showing signs of recovery as farmers are re-stocking their pig operations following the African Swine Fever epidemic. We expect to benefit from a ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in animal feed there, which is expected to come into force in July.”

Mr Edwards is confident the first half performance and strong balance sheet (it had a cash balance of £13.9 million on June 24th 2020, means the company can meet the challenges ahead. The Company has not used any of the UK government’s Covid-19 financial support measures.

“We continue to operate our contingency plans, with a split production system, remote working and using technology to support our global sales teams and customers and expect to continue to operate in this way for a number of months yet,” Mr Edwards concludes. Anpario used its business relationships in China and logistics expertise to secure a shipment of face masks which are to be distributed to local care homes.