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William Sinclair doubles profit in 2010

Published: 6 January 2011
Compost and garden products supplier reports impressive year, with net debt eliminated and pre-tax profit up 100%, as consumers shun overseas travel and spend more time in the garden.
Sales were up 4.7% o £48.5m for the year to September 30, 2010, with William Sinclair increasing its market share, driven by sales of growing media to retail customers.

The firm eliminated its net debt of £7.04m during the 12-month period, leaving net cash of £1.81m, while pre-exceptional profit before tax was up 100% to £2.52m.

As a result of such a strong performance, William Sinclair is recommending a final dividend of 3.5p per share, making a total of 5p for the year - a 43% uplift on the previous period.

William Sinclair chief executive Bernard Burns said: "The doubling of our profits demonstrates the successful execution of our growth strategy... The recession has benefited William Sinclair with customers spending more time in their gardens as a more economical pastime than overseas holidays. We anticipate this trend will continue."

In April 2010, William Sinclair received an advance payment of £9m from Natural England as part of its agreement to cease harvesting peat at Bolton Fell in Cumbria. The growing media firm has since submitted its full claim - said to be for a substantially higher figure - with the matter expected to be fully resolved by the end of November 2013, when its activities on site must be complete.

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