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Stackyard News Oct 2011

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Livestock Auctioneer is Best Large Business in Cumbria

Rural specialists and leading livestock auctioneers, the Carlisle based H&H Group have been named as Cumbria’s Best Large Business. The award presented at last week’s CN Group Business Awards follows the company’s recent announcement that it has just completed the two most successful trading years in its history. Profits exceeded £1 million for the second year in succession and the company has continued to invest heavily in extensive new facilities for several of its auction marts.

Richard Atkinson Vice-Chairman of Cumberland Building Society presenting the award to H&H Group Chief Executive Brian Richardson.

Richard Atkinson Vice-Chairman of Cumberland Building Society presenting the award to H&H Group Chief Executive Brian Richardson

The CN awards, sponsored by Invest in Cumbria, are designed to showcase the most successful and innovative companies in Cumbria and are open to businesses of all sizes. This year the awards particularly paid tribute to those rural businesses who had taken steps to expand in the face of a struggling national economy. The awards ceremony at the Rheged Discovery Centre near Penrith was hosted by ITV Border presenter and reporter Helen Pearson and attended by 250 people from local businesses.

Originally founded as farmstock auctioneers, the H&H Group now has eight operating companies with interests ranging from livestock auctions to rural property and land management, specialist insurance and renewable energy projects. The Group recently announced profits of £1.21 million with a total dividend on shares paid for the year of 30p.

Its substantial investments, £3 million in total, include new show hall and offices at its Borderway base at Carlisle which will host the annual Borderway Agri-Expo, now one of the country’s leading livestock events and next year’s National Dairy Expo. There have also been new offices and a canteen at the Lockerbie Mart and an upgrading of systems across the company. The company now employs 240 people, an increase on 24% on last year.

Commenting H&H Group Chief Executive, Brian Richardson said: “We are delighted to have been given the Best Large Business Award at the CN Business Awards. It is testament to the skill and hard work of all the employees at the H&H Group that despite a very difficult economy we have still been able to increase turnover and maintain profitability.

Livestock marketing remains the heritage of our business and we have invested heavily in facilities to remain the leader in the field. Tens of thousands of visitors come to the area as a result of the activity at the Borderway which continues to act as showcase for the cream of the country’s livestock and it is wonderful to have its contribution to the rural economy recognised in this way.”

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