NWF Group eyes acquisitions after second highest profit performance on record

Announcing figures for the year to May 3, 2021, the Nantwich-based fuel, food and feed distributor, NWF Group, has declared them to be ‘another strong set of results, ahead of expectations’ which presents ‘a significant opportunity for growth’.
The performance represents the second highest profit performance on record for the Group.
The response to Covid-19 has been effective throughout, with continually updated risk assessments across the Group enabling safe working and ensuring customer needs have been met by all divisions. Whilst all divisions have remained open and operational, providing essential services, there was a notable outperformance in the fuels division, with strong heating oil demand supported by a cold winter and an increase in home working during the pandemic. A headline operating profit of £9.3 million (2020: £11.0 million) was ahead of expectations and against a prior year which benefitted from a significant fall in the oil price.
Overall revenues were down slightly at £675.6m, compared with £687.5m the previous year, and pre-tax profits were down 10% at £10.8m. However, net debt reduced by 19% to £31.3m, and the total dividend has been increased, for the tenth consecutive year, by 4.3% to 7.2p per share, which the board said reflected its confidence in the prospects for the business.
Richard Whiting, chief executive, NWF Group plc, commented: “NWF has delivered another strong set of results, ahead of expectations set before the pandemic, demonstrating continued performance, delivery and resilience. Our teams have worked hard during the year meeting customers’ needs whilst staying safe. I’m proud of how we have responded to the challenge of Covid-19, Brexit and a cyber incident and exited the year strongly, with significant financial capacity and a clear growth strategy.
“There is a significant opportunity for growth backed by strong cash flows and flexible banking facilities alongside a strong asset base. We will therefore continue to consider acquisition opportunities, building on our successful track record of acquiring and integrating businesses, as well as investment in organic development.
“Performance to date in the current financial year has been in line with the Board’s expectations. Overall, the Board continues to remain confident about the Group’s future prospects.”