Erratic margins on meat processing and fears of raw material shortages brought on by EU reforms are highlights in directors’ commentaries on trading at ANM Group.
The worries were expressed by chairman Dennis Cowe and chief executive Brian Pack in their review of 2004.
Yorkshire Premier, ANM’s manufacturer of highly processed meat offerings, suffered “the toughest year in our ownership” at its Sheffield plant, according to Dennis Cowe, and he warns “in the short term it is difficult to see much change in this position”. The trouble was due to the high prices of beef forequarters.
However, there were increased earnings from the Scotch Premier slaughtering operation which as an “upstream” processor gained an advantage from expensive forequarters.
Pack reckons overhaul of the CAP, involving a switch from production-related subsidies, could cause a dramatic reduction in the numbers of sheep in outlying areas, such as the region served by Scotch Premier’s Dornoch plant.