Growing Media Sales
Due to the wet spring, growing media sales were adversely affected in the UK and Irish horticultural markets. The poor peat harvest challenged supply chain management, especially in the international professional growing media markets.
Consumer Demand for Value
The depressed macro economic environment and weak consumer confidence continued to weigh heavily on sales of solid fuel, oil and convenience products. In such a challenging environment value remains critical. This outlook is likely to persist with consumers buying more frequently but spending less, in order to control costs and avoid waste.
Freight Cost UK
The reduced balance of trade between Ireland and the UK in recent years has impacted significantly on freight costs with reduced back-loading opportunities on exported products. The resulting cost increases have led to significant margin pressure as retailers continue to drive value for their customers.
Carbon Tax/Smokeless Zones/
Better energy regulations
The implementation of carbon tax on solid fuels from 1 May 2013, the expansion of smokeless zones and the obligation to support improved energy efficiencies for energy users creates a significant challenge to our traditional solid fuel product range. The likely impact will be rising consumer prices, leading to a potential reduction in demand. A broader portfolio of products will be required to grow market share.