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Ed Leahy

BY ED LEAHY

AG Thames turnover falls by quarter

Restructuring its main subsidiary Chingford Fruit leads to 23 per cent revenue drop for AG Thames Group

AG Thames turnover falls by quarter

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AG Thames Group turnover fell by nearly a quarter in 2018 following a year of change for the company, during which it faced "significant challenges".

Publishing its financial results for the 2018 financial year, the Kent-based group saw turnover of £190m, a decrease of 23 per cent and gross margin fall by 0.6 per cent.  

The company said the significant shift in performance was caused in large part by the change in business model of key subsidiary, Chingford Fruit, to meet new requirements with its main customer.

Chingford Fruit has faced difficulties since losing its Waitrose contract in 2016, suffering a 9.3 per cent revenue drop last year.

In response, AG Thames has since launched the Fruit Logic brand, as a provider of fruit packing, warehousing and supply chain services to overseas growers, which it says has “fundamentally changed the business shape of Chingford Fruit, away from solely being an importer”.

The group added that volume and activity at its site in Crayford has stabilised, with the future looking “fruitful, with new growers committed to utilising the service over the coming year”.

Sales at the group’s berry brand, Soloberry, also fell eight per cent, attributed to a changing business shape supplying new European markets. The company said it was actively shifting its focus to capitalise on growth in the continental market, while dealing with a reduction in its involvement in UK strawberries.

Despite this, Soloberry posted a marginal profit before tax increase, “due to refining the operating model”.

Leon Aichen, AG Thames Chairman said: “We are pleased at how well the group has responded, to the significant challenges it has faced in its key markets over the course of 2018. We have restructured to maintain our competiveness but recognise that we will need to continue to adapt.”

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