A LEADING farmstock auctioneers is recording a healthy operating profit, despite the coronavirus pandemic affecting them financially.

Chief executive of H&H Group, Richard Rankin in his weekly diary said the company was still ‘well ahead’ of last year and ahead of its ‘hastily created lockdown budget’.

But overall, the business position is, he said, unsurprisingly behind budget, and unlikely to catch up this year, and especially under the current circumstances.

He said: "As a business, we have of course been affected financially and on many other levels, but given the unprecedented situation and the severity of the measures that had to be taken to contain the pandemic, we have to feel very fortunate that we are doing as well, if not better than expected. This was some very positive news I could report to my teams this week as I appreciate how worrying it must be for them all.

“To underpin these results and drive the business forward, this week we kicked off the first of our Company Strategy Sessions for H&H Insurance Brokers and H&H Reeds, and we will follow next week with Farmstock and H&H Land & Estates. Covid-19, as well as Brexit, has created unavoidable consequences that we need to address over and above the usual business challenges and of course be alive to the opportunities that always arise at times like these. Also, given the pause we have had and the unpredictable nature of events currently, it’s important to plan and visualise what the future will look like for H&H Group as a whole, as well as our individual companies. These engaging sessions will help us identify the opportunities, define our objectives and plan how we can support our farming customers, resulting in definitive outcomes and a route map of how we will achieve the vision over the next 12 months.”

The livestock division has this week launched the ‘Rising Stars’ pedigree online sheep sale of Beltex, Blue Texels, Badger Face Texels, Texels, Dutch Spotted and Blue Faced Leicesters. “The bidding window will run between June 25 and 26.We never predicted that Covid-19 would have us promoting our livestock in such a way, but there you go, these are extremely unusual times that require creative measures and I am so grateful of the ingenuity of the team to try new things and continue to get such impressive results for our customers.”