Coronavirus Update

Anpario PLC- Final Results 2020

This content has been sourced from: https://www.investegate.co.uk/anpario-plc--anp-/rn...

Highlights

 

Financial highlights

· 5% increase in revenue to £30.5m (2019: £29.0m)
· 9% increase in gross profit to £15.8m (2019: £14.5m)
· 22% increase in profit before tax to £5.4m (2019: £4.4m)
· Diluted earnings per share up 13% to 19.89p (2019: 17.61p)
· Proposed final dividend of 6.25p (2019: 5.5p) per share, total dividend for the year 9.0p (2019: 8.0p) an increase of 12.5%
· Cash balances of £15.8m at the year-end (2019: £13.8m)

 

Operational highlights

· Excellent operating performance helped by quick implementation of Covid-19 response plans.
· Sales growth in the Americas, Europe and China, particularly through the Company's own subsidiaries.

· US study proves anti-viral activity of pHorce ® in swine.

· Successful Orego-stim ® global launch in layers and pullets following North Carolina State University 3 year study.

· New Orego-Stim Aqua improves output and profitability in the absence of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs).

· Investment in automated pallet delivery system completed.

 

 

"The Board is delighted to report the Group's best operating performance to date, notwithstanding that 2020 was an extremely challenging year for the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This outstanding performance is due to the swift implementation of our Covid-19 response plans and the commitment, flexibility and supreme efforts of our staff. The resilience of the company's systems and operating procedures have meant that the company was able to operate as near normal as possible, ensuring customers did not experience disruption in supply.

 

The current financial year has started well, building on momentum from 2020. Our global sales team is supporting customers and we are continuing online customer meetings, technical training and business development effectively.

 

Finally, this is my last statement before I retire from the Board at this year's AGM. I would, therefore, like to take the opportunity to thank all staff and shareholders for their loyalty and support of Anpario in helping to build a successful company which has delivered significant shareholder value, including a substantial increase in market capitalisation. We have appointed a new Non-Executive team with exceptional knowledge and experience who will provide wise counsel to the executive management in taking Anpario to the next level. It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to be involved with the Company and to work closely with Richard and Karen in particular."

 

Strategic report

 

Chairman's statement

 

Overview

Anpario is pleased to report its best performance to date with sales exceeding £30m and a 22% improvement in profit before tax to £5.4m, during a period of extraordinary disruption as the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to impact many countries around the world. I am immensely proud of the way the Group reacted quickly by implementing response plans which mitigated much of the disruption and delivered an excellent financial result. Strong cost and cash control helped to deliver profits significantly ahead of the previous year, thereby strengthening our balance sheet, whilst also returning record levels of cash to shareholders by way of dividends and a share buy-back.

 

There were strong performances in the Americas, Europe and in China where sales showed a quick recovery as farmers restocked their pig operations and the ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in animal feed also benefited sales of Orego-Stim®. The Middle East experienced continued weakness in the second half. Our strategy in recent years to set up local subsidiaries and sales teams is proving successful with the strongest growth through these channels which have been able to fully support end customers throughout the pandemic. We also invested in an automated pallet delivery system which has increased production capacity and streamlined the output processes at the Manton Wood production plant.

 

We anticipate keeping most of the Covid-19 response measures in place for the foreseeable future given the prevalence of the second wave of infection currently around the world but, expect that as the vaccination programs are implemented then business development initiatives, which require a more personal touch, will resume. Nevertheless, we have learnt some valuable lessons in how to apply communication technology to operate more efficiently. The Company has not made use of any of the UK Government's financial support measures available in relation to Covid-19.

 

Dividend

The Board is recommending a final dividend of 6.25 pence per share (2019: 5.5 pence) making a total of 9.0 pence per share for the year (2019: 8.0 pence), an increase of 12.5%. This dividend, payable on 30 July to shareholders on the register on 16 July, reflects the Board's continued confidence in the Group and its ability to generate cash.  Taken with the £1 million returned to shareholders through the share buy-back in March 2020, cash returned to shareholders amounts to £2.7m for the period.

 

AGM

The Board plans to hold the AGM on Thursday 17 June 2021, at 11.00am. We recognise that the AGM is a good opportunity for shareholders to meet and ask questions of the Board, especially given the recent new appointments. We will let shareholders know nearer the time the arrangements for the AGM, but these will depend on Covid-19 restrictions and government advice in place at that time.

 

Board changes

The Board succession plan for Non-Executive Directors was announced in our recent trading update. Richard Wood retires from the Board on 31 March 2021, and I thank him for his valuable contribution and guidance as Senior Independent Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee. I have also advised the Board of Anpario that I shall retire as Non-Executive Chairman, Chair of the Audit and Nomination committees at Anpario's AGM on 17 June 2021. It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to have been involved with the company and to have worked closely with Richard and Karen, in particular.


I welcome Kate Allum and Matthew Robinson to the Anpario Board who bring a wealth of corporate governance and commercial experience to the Company. I also look forward to Ian Hamilton joining us on 1 April 2021. A further announcement will be made regarding the positions of Chairman, Senior Independent Director and Board Committees.

In addition, Karen Prior has told the Board that she wishes to relinquish the role of Group Finance Director after the AGM but will remain as an Executive Director of the Company responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility and as Company Secretary. Marc Wilson, who is currently Group Management Accountant, will be Karen's successor to the Board from 1st July. Marc, who joined Anpario in 2010, has been instrumental in the preparation of the statutory and management accounts as well as implementing the Group's enterprise resource planning system and controls.

Karen Prior will now oversee ESG matters and the Board has been further strengthened in this regard by the appointment of Kate Allum who has significant experience in leading sustainability and diversity initiatives.

 

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Sustainability and environmental issues are core to Anpario's operations with a focus on products which comprise almost 100% natural ingredients and working with key suppliers who share our sustainable goals. Anpario is committed to providing innovative solutions to the food farming industry, working in harmony with the natural aspects of an animal's biology to promote healthy growth at least damage to the environment. Work is progressing to evidence the positive impact of products such as Orego-stim® on greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Implementing strong governance and stakeholder accountability has always been central to our values and ethics.

 

People

It is testament to our staff across the globe that we have been able to deliver such an excellent performance in what is the most challenging of years for the world. Our staff have had to adapt to new ways of working and have assiduously followed our Covid-19 procedures to ensure operations were not compromised. We are also proud to have supported our local NHS hospitals and used our China expertise and shipping contacts to import face masks which were donated to local care homes. The commitment and dedication of all our people is greatly appreciated.

 

Outlook

There has been a strong start to trading in the current year. We will continue our online customer meetings and business development activities until lockdown restrictions are relaxed. Nonetheless, Anpario's global sales team is well positioned to support customers across our network. Investing and developing our sales and marketing channels around the world remains a priority, as does targeting new markets, such as aquaculture, with both existing and new innovations which bring significant value to the producers.

 

We expect the Covid-19 pandemic to continue to restrict international travel which may inhibit some business development initiatives but Anpario's local sales teams have been a significant strength in supporting our customers. We anticipate some challenges in the supply of goods to Europe to persist until the customs discrepancies are ironed out and protocols defined in the Brexit trade agreement are uniformly interpreted and applied across the EU. The setting up of a European stockholding hub will not only alleviate these temporary issues but will also offer Anpario a better platform to grow our direct to end-customer business across the continent.

 

Our natural products, such as Orego-Stim®, are in demand not only when legislation such as the banning of AGPs or formaldehyde is implemented but also to improve animal health which in turn delivers performance benefits to farmers and meat processors in producing safe and sustainable food for consumers in a biosecure environment.

 

Our strong balance sheet enables the Group to invest in innovative natural product solutions, expand our global reach and undertake earnings enhancing and complementary acquisitions to continue the profitable development of the Group.   We remain confident in capturing the opportunities to grow the business for the long-term benefit of all stakeholders.

 

Chief Executive Officer's statement

 

Non-Executive Directors

I would firstly like to pay tribute to Peter Lawrence who is retiring as Chairman at the forthcoming AGM. Peter was instrumental in the development of Anpario following the acquisition of Agil in 2006. As a valued Board member and Chairman with his in-depth knowledge and experience of the industry he has made a significant contribution to the growth of the Group. On behalf of the Company, I would like to thank both Peter and Richard Wood, who also retires at the end of this month, for their commitment, support and counsel given during their time on the Board.

 

Overview of the financial year

Group sales for the year to 31 December 2020 grew by 5% to £30.5m, with strong performances from the Americas, Europe and China. China benefited from a relatively quick recovery of the Covid-19 lockdown and the rebuilding of pig herds following the African Swine Fever (ASF) epidemic. New legislation in China banning the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in animal feed also started to benefit the Company towards the end of the period. These regions offset weakness in South East Asia where sales were flat over the year, after a strong first half, due to lockdowns which resulted in reduced meat protein consumption and an element of forward buying in the first half by our distributors. The Middle East suffered significantly as religious events were cancelled and the repatriation of foreign workers from the region reduced consumption in general.

 

Gross profit improved by 9% to £15.8m with gross margins improving to 51.9% from 50.0% compared to the same period last year. This improvement reflects the strong growth delivered through our subsidiaries and direct to customer trading, as well as from selling higher value-added products and the contribution from our recent investment in the liquid bottling plant. We have made further investments in our UK production plant this year including a £0.3m investment in a pallet delivery system to streamline the flow of finished pallets through the factory.

 

The pandemic has led to the suspension of travel and industry exhibitions since March 2020 which subsequently delivered cost savings in these areas. We expect suspensions to remain in place until at least the middle of this year and although some business development activities are best done face to face, the new efficient ways of working remotely with technology will remain with us in the future.

 

Our strong profit growth is reflected in the Company's cash generation affording the Group resources to invest in its multi-channel offering, especially where a local sales presence allows us to work more closely with end customers to drive growth. We continue to invest in product development and trial work for new applications of our technology, and in new species sectors such as aquaculture. Sales and activity through the Anpario Direct online platform continue to grow both in the UK and Australia, albeit from a low base.

 

Operational review

 

Americas

Overall, the region grew sales by 9% with Latin America and the US delivering growth of 4% and 22% respectively, but there were mixed performances across countries within Latin America.

 

Latin America performance was supported with key contributions from Brazil, Argentina and Peru. Brazil continued to benefit from growth in Orego-Stim® and Prefect® with a strong sales performance of 34% growth against a very high 2019 comparison. Brazil benefited from supplying China as its production recovers from African Swine Fever and the switch away from US supply of meat protein as result of the US-China trade tensions. The improvement in Peru was attributable to the appointment of a new distributor during the period.

 

Territories including Chile and Bolivia were badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sales in Chile declined by 49% as some of our products are indirectly used in salmon feed, which was severely impacted by closure of the restaurant trade across the Americas. Our second largest market in the region is Mexico and after growth in the previous year, suffered a sales decline of 12% due to disruption from the pandemic.

 

Focus on aquaculture in the region is starting to mature with products such as Orego-Stim®, Prefect® and Mastercube®, a natural pellet binder, used to improve production performance and replace commonly used antibiotics.

 

US growth accelerated in the second half driven by an increase in sales of the liquid version of Orego-Stim® by supplying smaller customers and orders through our relationship with the leading US animal health distribution company. Further trial work is being undertaken in the territory to support the marketing of Orego-Stim® as a natural coccidiostat to prevent the incidence of coccidiosis in poultry.

 

 

Our high strength acid-based eubiotic, pHorce®, showed excellent results in a trial undertaken by Pipestone Applied Research (Pipestone) to evaluate the ability of feed additives to mitigate the risk of virus-contaminated feed. We are now starting to capture swine business in the US, following our investment in sales resource and a turnaround in the market there.

 

Asia

China delivered a strong recovery in sales in the second half ending the year 50% ahead of the same period last year. The country's quick recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the rebuilding of pig herds by farmers, helped drive volumes of Orego-Stim® and Prefect®. We are seeing the emergence of larger farms with enhanced biosecurity and the industry taking the opportunity to modernise its approach.

 

The other key driver of growth towards the end of the year was the ban on AGPs in feed as essential oil products like Orego-Stim® are viewed as a natural replacement. In contrast, an over-supply of eggs reversed demand for our acid-based eubiotic product which targets the poultry layer market.

 

South East Asia had a strong first half but slowed during the rest of the year ending flat compared to the same period last year. The region was significantly impacted by reduced protein consumption and excess poultry production in Thailand which affected producer prices across the region. There was also an element of forward ordering by some distributors to reduce the chance of disruption to supply during the pandemic.

 

Our wholly owned subsidiaries showed some of the strongest growth in the region with Indonesia and Thailand delivering sales growth of 67% and 14% respectively. South Korea also performed well with growth of 16%. However, Bangladesh and Taiwan experienced the most severe impact to sales declining by 52% and 70% respectively. Certain parts of the region are experiencing a second wave of coronavirus infections with a consequential reduction on meat protein consumption.

 

Our sales teams are working closely with customers and targeting opportunities in aquaculture where we hope to capitalise on our successful trial work in tilapia and shrimp in Latin America. We are also looking to setup a subsidiary in Vietnam which is a key market in both agriculture and aquaculture.

 

Australasia saw modest sales growth of 2% compared to the same period last year with performances in Australia and New Zealand offsetting a reduction in business in Papua New Guinea. Australia experienced strong sales in Orego-Stim® and a prebiotic product which we supply to the pet sector. The Anpario Direct online platform was also launched to the pigeon and backyard farming community and the success of the racing pigeon Lady Oregon in the Sydney Gold Ring Race provided good publicity as well as vividly demonstrating the benefits of Orego-Stim® to animal health.

 

The Middle East and Africa

After last year's strong performance, the region saw a decline in sales of 38% compared to the same period last year. The Middle East has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as cancelled religious celebrations and pilgrimages, a fall in tourism and foreign workers returning home reduced meat protein consumption. There were some positive performances with Saudi Arabia, Syria and Jordan modestly up but, unfortunately, declines in Turkey, Egypt and Iraq weighed heavily on the overall result for the region. We expect the region to remain challenging although business development initiatives should see an improvement in performance over last year.

 

Europe

The region showed strong sales and profit growth with sales up 27% compared to the same period last year. The UK delivered a very strong performance through greater demand for our raw materials and feed hygiene products which are benefiting from the ban in the use of formaldehyde. Anpario's unique products and high service levels are valued by large raw material traders and processors and to capitalise on this further, especially on mainland Europe where we have a number of opportunities, we are investing in liquid bulk storage facilities at Manton Wood.

 

Russia, Belarus and Lithuania saw double digit sales increases as did Austria from where our distributor also supplies some of the Balkan countries. We have also recently appointed a new distributor in Switzerland.

 

As already mentioned, we have experienced some disruption in supplying customers in Europe due to Brexit but action has been taken to overcome the obstacles. Further detail is available in a later section below.

 

Sales and visits to the Anpario Direct online platform continue to grow monthly with the average order size being £85. We have agreed a deal with Provita Eurotech (Provita), a main brand manufacturer of animal health products for cattle and sheep. Anpario has agreed to stock a focused range of their key lambing and calving products including colostrum, vitamin and mineral drenches and hoof-care treatments. Stocking the UK's leading brand manufacturer of these products will attract new customers to the Anpario online channel, which offers 100% availability and next day nationwide delivery. Provita's products will be supported by online information, data sheets and video blogs from leading farmers who are already using these products.

 

Innovation and development

US trials with Pipestone have already demonstrated positive results by including pHorce® in feed which was co-infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) and Seneca virus A (SVA). It is also proving effective against enveloped viruses such as Avian Influenza (AI) and African Swine Fever (ASF).

 

Results of extensive trial work conducted over 3 years with North Carolina State University, USA has shown that Orego-Stim® is a cost-effective, natural solution for supporting laying hen performance and optimal egg quality. It also shows significant benefits in terms of pullet body conformation, increase in both egg size and in the number of eggs produced.

 

Urea formaldehyde is frequently used as a pellet binder for aquaculture feeds, especially in Asia. Aquaculture farmers are looking to replace this toxic substance with environmentally friendly alternatives and, as such, we undertook a series of university studies in Thailand to adapt our agriculture pellet binder, Mastercube®, which is now successfully used in water where pellet integrity is required for a number of hours, especially for shrimp which tend to graze throughout the day.

 

Some of our product development and trial activities were curtailed due to the closure of test facilities and laboratories across the industry. Although an inconvenience, we were still able to perform commercial trials with customers for some of our products. For instance, our aquaculture version of Orego-Stim® replaced a commonly used antibiotic, so increasing shrimp weight gain by 4.3 grams in one week, reducing mortality to 0% and reducing the incidence of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) by 47%. The incremental financial benefit to the shrimp farmer was US$500 per hectare. There are 220,000 hectares of shrimp farming in Ecuador alone.

 

Our Optomega® omega 3 supplement, which enhances animal fertility and egg enrichment, comprises a blend of sustainable fish oils. In addition we have recently developed an algal alternative as we recognise growing consumer demand for non-animal derived products. This new product means we can offer farmers a choice to meet changing consumer tastes.

 

Brexit

In anticipation of Brexit we put a number of measures in place, including building up raw material and finished stock levels and incorporating German and Irish companies. Raw material supplies, which are mostly sourced from Europe, have not experienced any disruption, and we have been able to transport products to our customers into the European Union. Our export team has been successful in resolving the challenges presented. We anticipate it taking a few months for these new arrangements to settle down. We have set up a European stockholding hub in the Netherlands using a third-party warehousing and logistics provider with specific experience in our industry. The stockholding hub will enable us to grow our direct to end-user business, facilitating our ability to offer a high level of service for smaller order sizes. From this base we expect to expand our business further in the European Union and see it as a potential opportunity.

 

Growth Strategy

We remain focused on organic growth through multi-channel distribution and with a strategic focus on adding value with speciality feed additives, including newly formulated products focused on new markets and broadening species segments such as aquaculture and ruminant. We aim to build on our growth momentum in United States and Latin America and the opportunities in China and Asia Pacific which are moving towards antibiotic removal. Anpario's natural and sustainable approach to animal health and intensive farming allows farmers to produce their output in a safe manner where toxic substances and threats such as antimicrobial resistance can be reduced through using our natural solutions.

 

In Europe we are building our reputation and resulting market share for our specialty raw material treatments and feed hygiene products. Our investment in the production plant enables us to enjoy high operational gearing. We continue to explore acquisitions opportunities to complement our current product range and enhance sales channels.

 

Key performance indicators

 

Financial

 

 

2020

2019

 

 

 

Note

£000

£000

change

% change

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

3

30,522

29,046

+1,476

+5%

 

Gross profit

 

15,852

14,510

+1,342

+9%

 

Gross margin

 

51.9%

50.0%

+1.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted EBITDA

6

6,604

5,680

+924

+16%

 

Profit before tax

 

5,350

4,394

+956

+22%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diluted adjusted earnings per share

12

21.15p

18.61p

+2.54p

+14%

 

Total dividend for the year

 

9.00p*

8.00p

+1.00p

+13%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

15,820

13,842

+1,978

+14%

 

Net assets

 

37,505

35,554

+1,908

+5%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Includes both the interim dividend paid during the year and the proposed final dividend which is subject to approval by the shareholders at the AGM.

 

Non-financial

Health and safety - there were no major accidents reportable to the Board in the year (2019: nil).

 

The Group also regards growth of business in key target markets and the on-going achievement of product registrations and quality assurance accreditations as other KPIs.

 

 

Financial review

 

Revenue and gross profits

The Group has delivered another strong year of progress, growing revenue by 5% to £30.5m (2019: £29.0m). The Europe segment delivered the strongest growth with a sales increase of 27%. Further growth was seen in the Asia and Americas segments of 6% and 9% respectively. However, difficult conditions in the Middle-East and Africa segment saw revenue decline by 38%. Detailed commentary on the performance of the operating segments is available in the Chief Executive Officer's Statement.

 

Gross margins have also increased 190 basis points to 51.9%, this was attributable to several factors: operational efficiencies from the automated bottling plant investment; continued changes in sales mix to focus on higher value-added products; and an increase in the proportion of direct to end-customer sales. The revenue growth combined with increased margins led to a gross profit increase of 9% to £15.9m (2019: £14.5m).

 

Administrative expenses

Underling administrative expenses, which exclude foreign exchange variances, increased by 7% (£0.7m). Employment costs excluding bonuses rose by 7% (£0.4m), however £0.3m of this related to a reduction in the level of capitalised staff costs as internal R&D projects slowed due to COVID-19. There have been a number of notable sales performances within the regions, as well as good overall profit growth and accordingly incentive costs have increased by £0.8m in the year.

 

Industry events have appropriately been curtailed due to COVID-19 and whilst digital marketing related costs have increased, overall marketing expenditure was down 44% (£0.3m). Similarly, the suspension of most international flights and local lockdowns have led to significant travel savings with costs down 58% (£0.6m). This trend is expected to continue through the first half of 2021, and whilst there will be a normalisation of costs, it is expected that we will continue the positives aspects of the increased use of technology such as the speed and ease of communication and cost efficiencies that it brings.

 

Other cost increases include legal and professional costs up £0.3m year-on-year which partly relates to setup costs to support our continued expansion to support local markets. Further, whilst we have experienced only immaterial credit losses in the year, there is £0.1m increase in the expected credit loss provision, further details of which are set out in note 18 to the financial statements. The Group primarily trades with customers backed by credit insurance, but this is not always feasible and we continue to monitor and assess our customers in relation to the difficult challenging macro-economic situation.

 

Foreign exchange

There has been continued volatility in foreign exchange markets through the year. The Group's primary foreign currency exchange rate risk relates to both sales and related receivables denominated in US Dollars. Foreign exchange losses in the period totalled £0.4m, however this was fully offset through the Group's continued exchange risk management strategy and fair value gains of £0.4m on hedging contracts as detailed in note 19. At the year end the Group has recognised a £1.0m (2019: £0.5m) financial asset on these hedging contracts, which protect a large portion of the currently forecasted US Dollar sales over the next three years at an average forward rate of GBP/USD 1.3018.

 

Profitability and earnings per share

Adjusted EBITDA for the year increased by 16% to £6.6m (2019: £5.7m) and diluted adjusted earnings per share increased by 14% to 21.15p per share (2019: 18.61p).

 

Profit before tax growth mirrored absolute Adjusted EBITDA growth but represented a higher percentage increase of 22% to £5.4m (2019: £4.4m). Basic earnings per share grew 14% to 20.63p (2019: 18.10p) this increase was lower than profit growth due to increased income tax charges for the year. 

 

Taxation

The effective tax rate for the year was 21.4% (2019: 15.5%). Changes to UK corporation tax rates as part of the Finance Bill 2020 meant that rates now remain at 19%, rather than the previously planned reduction to 17%. Deferred taxes have been remeasured at this revised rate resulting in a deferred tax charge of £0.2m in the current year. Excluding this, the effective tax rate was 18.4%, this is higher than previous years with another contributing factor being the reduction in internal research and development activity due to COVID-19, therefore reducing associated R&D tax credits in the period.

 

The UK government announced on 3 March 2021 that the government are intending to increase the corporation tax rate from 19% to 25% from April 2023. As this rate was not substantively enacted at the balance sheet date it has not been used to calculate the deferred tax balances.

 

Cash generation

Net cash generated by operations for the year was £5.8m (2019: £4.0m). In the first half of the year, we significantly increased our working capital by £2.0m as part of our strategic response to disruption caused by COVID. This involved stocking up our subsidiaries and distributor network to ensure continuity of supply through this period and achieve a competitive advantage. Through the second half of the year these levels have started to normalise somewhat and an increase in trade payables has lead to a smaller year-on-year increase of £0.6m.

 

Net cash used in investing activities decreased in the period to £1.2m (2019: £1.4m). Investments in the current period included amounts on plant and machinery investment for further efficiencies and continued R&D and IP protection.

 

During the year, a £1.0m share buyback programme was successfully completed, purchasing 297,346 ordinary shares at a volume weighted average price of 336.31p per share and resulting in net cash used in financing activities of £2.5m (2019: £1.6m).

 

Overall, cash and cash equivalents increased by £2.0m in the year to a balance of £15.8m (2019: £13.8m). The primary purpose of holding these resources is to fund future acquisitions and we continue to explore suitable opportunities. 

 

Dividends

The Board is recommending a final dividend of 6.25 pence per share (2019: 5.50 pence) payable on 30 July to shareholders on the register on 16 July. In addition to the interim dividend already paid, this represents an increase to the total dividend for the year of 13% to 9.0 pence per share (2019: 8.0 pence).

 

Our business model and strategy

 

Business model

Anpario is an independent manufacturer of natural sustainable animal feed additives for health, nutrition and biosecurity. Our products work in harmony with the natural aspects of the animal's biology and Anpario's expertise is focused on intestinal and animal health, and utilising this understanding to improve animal performance and customer pro?tability.

 

Anpario supplies its customers with quality assured products manufactured in the United Kingdom and has an established global sales and distribution network in over 70 countries.

 

Anpario was built up through a combination of acquisitions and organic growth by establishing wholly owned subsidiaries in a number of key meat producing countries. The portfolio of products has been developed with the customer and the animal in mind, taking into account the life stages of the animal and the periods when they will be more challenged.

 

Anpario is well positioned to bene?t from the trends in growth of the world's population, the increasing demand for meat and ?sh protein in developing countries and the tightening of global regulation which favours more natural feed additive solutions. Seizing these opportunities is how Anpario intends to deliver long-term shareholder value.

 

Our business model is based on:

· Products - high quality efficacious products presented well;
· Channel - control the sales channel to ensure we develop strong technical and commercial relationships with the end users of Anpario products;
· Story - powerful value add proposition demonstrating the ?nancial and performance bene?ts of our product solutions;
· Branding - build an impeccable Anpario brand which global customers can trust as having innovative, high quality and effective solutions for customers;
· Quality - throughout supply chain and manufacturing processes; and
· Efficiency - efficient automated production with high operational gearing.

 

Strategy

 

Regional focus

Developing local commercial and technical relationships across the world.

Delivered through:

· regional sales structure;

· local language speakers;

· resource that understands local market needs and challenges; and

· closer relationships with key end customers.

Actions in 2020:

· continued increase of Direct sales channel;

· launch of Anpario Direct in Australia market; and

· set up of new subsidiary operations to serve local markets.

Future plans:
· continued expansion of Anpario Direct to other suitable territories;
· establishment of new subsidiaries for better access and support to local markets; and
· further selective recruitment of high calibre regional resource.

 

Technical & products

Add value by developing products that help overcome the challenges of modern day farming.

Delivered through:
· scienti?c research and development, working closely with the end customers' meat protein operations, to help improve gut function leading to improved animal performance;
· support the producer through prevention rather than treatment; and
· help the customer meet disease and regulatory challenges.
Actions in 2020:

· US trials with Pipestone demonstrating positive results by including pHorce® in feed against a multitude of viruses;

· 3 year trial work with North Carolina State University, USA has shown that Orego-Stim® is a cost-effective, natural solution for supporting laying hen performance and optimal egg quality.

· Adaptation of Mastercube® to sucessfullly be used for acquaculture markets, especially Shrimp

Future plans:

· continue to retain and recruit technical and animal production experts;

· continued investment in research and development working closely with key global customers and respected institutions; and

· look for product opportunities which broaden our range and species opportunities.

 

Acquisitions

Growth through complementary and earnings enhancing acquisitions.

Delivered through:
· successful integration to derive both operational and ?nancial synergies;
· speci?c searches to identify suitable targets in the specialty feed additive market; and
· applying strict acquisition and valuation criteria; targets must either complement our current product range, offer market consolidation opportunities or strengthen our sales and distribution channels.
Actions in 2020:
· evaluated a number of acquisition opportunities.
Future plans:
· continue active search for acquisition opportunities within de?ned criteria.

 

Operations

High quality, consistent and efficient manufacturing.

Delivered through:
· automated production facilities;
· key industry quality accreditations; and
· quality supply partners.
Actions in 2020:
· automated pallet wrapper and delivery system; and
· increased efficiency and throughput of high volume production line.
Future plans:
· evaluating further production investment opportunities;
· continued expansion of packaging options; and
· developing enhanced production contingency plans.