Westland Horticulture reports significant sales and profit growth

Westland's operation on the Granville Road, Dungannon. Picture by Justin Kernoghan.
Ryan McAleer

CO TYRONE horticulture group Westland has reported a 63 per cent rise in pre-tax profit to £10.2 million for 2019.

The latest full year accounts for the Dungannon-based operation show significant growth for the year ending August 31 2019, with revenue growing 38 per cent to £182.4m.

The group, which specialises in gardening, horticulture and bird seed products, said the surge in performance was down to a combination of both organic growth and acquisition.

A report from the group’s directors accompanying the latest set of accounts state that Westland witnessed increased demand for horticulture products during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The commercial impact of the pandemic on the group has been minimal so far and the group has performed well against budget during 2020,” states the report.

But it said the continued economic uncertainty posed by Covid-19 could still have a material impact on the group’s financial performance over the next 12 month.

The 2019 accounts published by Companies House include details of Westland’s £4m acquisition of former English rival Gardman in October 2018.

That deal, which absorbed the company into Westland (GM) Ltd, helped bolster the group’s revenues by £25m over the reporting period.

However, the accounts note that the Westland (GM) subsidiary contributed to losses of £2.5m over the same period.

The acquisition swelled Westland’s workforce to 740 people by the end of August 2019, up by 134 people on 2018.

The report states that a cash dividend of £1.5m was paid during the year.

Westland’s main shareholders are Edward Conroy, Robert Lavery and John McVeigh.

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