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Farmlands reaps rewards of farmers’ spending

February 16 2005

Farmlands reaps rewards of farmers’ spending

New Zealand’s largest rural retail co-operative Farmlands Trading Society has reported a 14% increase in sales to $159 million for the first half of the year (July – December 2004).

Farmlands chief executive officer John Newland said the company had experienced very strong growth in sales and membership with another 650 people joining the co-operative in the six month period.

“We now have 18,000 members and are exceeding revenue budget expectations. This level of optimism is consistent with our business and demonstrates a strong level of member trust in Farmlands,” Mr Newland said.

“Our members are looking for a solid foundation – a business with no surprises and they are backing this with their spending power. This is a very positive position for Farmlands given the recent uncertainty in the rural retail market.

“Along with strong membership support, the increase in sales also signals a renewed confidence in the rural sector.

Mr Newland said the fencing and seed categories have seen the greatest increase in sales. A higher number of calves being reared drove an increase in animal nutrition sales.

Sales through the company’s charge card Farmacard has increase 20% to $58 million. Fertiliser sales had exceeded expectations which Mr Newland attributed to the company now selling at trade prices and its supplier Ballance Agri-nutrients extending its logistical operations.

Another highlight was Farmlands’ “store within a store” Premier Petz chain. This is now operating in 25 of the company’s 30 stores throughout the North Island and sales continued to increase.

“The Whangarei store, which opened a year ago, is operating exceptionally well as are the two new Taranaki stores.

“The outlook for the second half of the year is positive.

“Farmlands is currently planning to open another new store along with relocating two existing stores into larger premises to cope with expanding business,” Mr Newland said.


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