ANM, unusually for a meat company, is protected by a robust balance sheet with a strongly positive current balance and term debt of only £1.2m against members' total equity conservatively valued at more than £16m. The Yorkshire Premier and Scotch Premier profit and loss accounts, however, could prove less resilient than the group balance sheet. Cowe and Pack believe YP's strong management will maintain profitability, but they expect margins to come under pressure again this year ­ partly due to intensifying competition in the multiple sector. SP also has widely admired management depth, but its primary processing margins are vulnerable to the familiar strains resulting from the strong pound and BSE related costs. As Pack emphasised, the profit rebound was due to unexpectedly buoyant final quarter trading. "In summer last year, things were not looking good at all." {{MEAT }}