- Wynnstay said it has made a good start to the new financial year, with both the agricultural and retail divisions performing in line with management expectations.

"Feed demand over the winter period has been encouraging, with increased volumes over last year. Fertiliser sales have increased over the last few weeks after soft demand in the autumn and we expect a longer season as customers buy on a spot basis," it said in a statement to be read at its AGM today.

"Demand for spring seed has been good and our reputation for high quality product, service and advice remains a strong support to sales. In grain trading, volumes have increased over the equivalent period last year but farmers are still holding significant stock from the 2014 harvest.

"Across our specialist retailing activities, our Country Stores, which are geared towards the needs of farmers, are performing well and Just for Pets, our pet products outlets, continues to experience like-for-like growth. We anticipate adding new stores to both chains in 2015.

"We recently completed our planning exercise to map out potential organic and acquisitive growth opportunities for the Group over the next five years.

"While there are short term challenges for the industry, particularly around the current level of output prices, especially for the milk sector, we remain positive about prospects for Wynnstay and intend to continue to expand on the broad foundations established over many years.

"After 16 years as a Non-executive Director of Wynnstay, as previously reported, Lord Carlile retires from the Company today. His contribution to the Group over all these years has been significant and he leaves with our warm thanks and grateful appreciation."

At 9:22am: [LON:WYN] Wynnstay Group PLC share price was +16p at 526p

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