Agricultural retailer Countrywide Farmers has revealed plans to list on the AIM stock exchange after reporting record profits.
Countrywide reported a surge in profits to £4.3m in the year to May 31, up from £1.3m the previous year.
Total retail sales increased by over 9% to £92m after the retailer implemented a new strategy including a store revamp programme and lower prices.
Group revenues grew by 15% to £306m while sales from its agriculture and energy businesses increased by £31.6m to £214.4m.
The strong performance has led the business to plan a listing on AIM. Chairman Nigel Hall said: “The board has been considering the position for a number of years and now has concluded the company should move its listing to AIM to allow a more appropriate market value and greater liquidity to be achieved for the business - for the ultimate benefit of all shareholders.”
The retailer is in the process of revamping its store estate which now features improved navigation and better flooring and lighting. It has also moved its sales mix away from rural fashion towards its traditional agricultural products including animal feed.
The stores feature areas dedicated to professional farmers, pets and equestrian products manned by specialist staff.
Hall added: “The business has delivered strong organic growth across most key product categories. This growth, together with the successful repositioning of our retail business and the cost reduction programme implemented last year, have been the key drivers for performance.”
The retailer said strengthening its position in the equestrian market is also key, and is planning a new catalogue due out in October and sponsorship of the Your Horse Live show the following month.
Countrywide chief executive John Hardman said: “Our new pricing strategy has resulted in lower retail margins but these have been offset by volume growth in the increasingly competitive market place.”