Belfast-based animal feed company John Thompson & Sons achieved record turnover and operating profit in the 12 months to 31 July 2023.

Higher tonnages and the spike in global grain prices as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saw turnover up 24% on the £288m from the previous year to hit £355.9m. When compared to the 12 months to July 2021, turnover has risen by 72%.

While costs are also up significantly over the period, the company has been able to pass these on to customers, leaving operating profit in the last year at a new high point of £7.95m, up 17% on the £6.81m from the previous year.

Operating profit margin, at 2.2%, is similar to previous years and generally in line with other similar agri-food related businesses.

Joint venture

John Thompson & Sons employs 164 people and is a joint venture between NI-based commodity trading company W&R Barnett and Dublin headquartered Origin Enterprises Ltd.

The two companies also operate grain importer R&H Hall as a joint venture and own Goulding fertilisers in NI.

Barnett results

In its latest accounts to the end of July 2023, W&R Barnett also posted record turnover figures at £1.81bn, up 15% on the previous 12-month period, although higher costs saw operating profit trimmed slightly to £63.6m.

W&R Barnett is the largest family owned business in NI and lists William Barnett as the ultimate controlling party.

Having started out as a grain merchant, it has diversified across a range of sectors. As well as the joint ventures with Origin Enterprises, the company owns the likes of United Molasses and a number of corrugated packing companies that are operating across the UK, listed as part of the Logson Group.

The latest accounts for W&R Barnett Ltd show it has net assets of over £394m.