A LLANSANTFFRAID based agricultural manufacturer and supplier has reported strong trading in its centenary year.

The Wynnstay Group, which has 59 stores nationwide including branches in Llanfair Caereinion, Newtown, Welshpool and Llanidloes, says it has experienced better-than-expected trading performance for the last financial year in an update issued this week.

In an upbeat statement issued by the board of directors, the group also said the outlook for the agricultural sales market in the UK remained generally positive, with the company “well placed to take advantage.”

“Trading across both the agriculture and specialist retail divisions has continued strongly in the second half of the financial year, with farmer confidence and spending patterns continuing to recover as output prices have strengthened,” said a spokesperson.

“As a result, the Board now expects to report profit before tax and earnings per share for the financial year ahead of current market forecasts.”

The firm says strong feed sales, both direct-to-farm and through Wynnstay’s agricultural retail stores have been a ‘key driver’ of the group’s better-than-expected performance, with the long dry summer leading to higher sales as farmers brought in feed to compensate for limited foraging.

“Fertiliser volumes, which have been expanded through acquisitions within the Glasson business, were also boosted by weather conditions in the final quarter of the financial year, and seed sales were also strong over this period. The integration and turnaround of the stores acquired from the administrators of Countrywide Farmers is proceeding to plan and they are anticipated to make a positive contribution to the group’s results in 2019,” they added.

Having been founded as a farmers co-operative in 1918 by a group of tenant farmers from the Mechain area the company, now a PLC, has developed into a major supplier of products and services to the agricultural industry and the rural economy across the UK.

The group says it expects to announce full year-end results in January 2019.