HARRISON and Hetherington Group has published its accounts for the year ending June 30, 2017, which show a profit before tax of £628,000 – similar to the £712,000 for the previous year. 
Nett assets for the business were at £17.75m at the year end and a final dividend has been recommended of 27p, making a total of 35p for the full year.
Through their nine mart sites and on-farm trading, the auctioneering division of the group has, for the first time, traded more than £170m worth of livestock.
Brian Richardson, chief executive of the H and H Group, said: “These are the first results that include a full year of trading from the Harrison and Hetherington marts at Newtown St Boswells and Wooler which were acquired in October, 2015. 
"Trading from these sites has met expectations and work has been ongoing to develop throughput both via the marts themselves and also non-mart trading."
He said that livestock values have seen some improvement in the last year across most sectors and there is some cautious optimism in the short and medium term, supported by currency weakness helping meat exports.
As well as a focus on its nine mart sites, Mr Richardson said the firm had continued to develop livestock sales direct from farm to farm and also from farm to abattoir. 
"As part of this, we have had a successful cattle scheme with a major abattoir in England for several years and have now introduced a similar with another one in Scotland."
Looking at the other Harrison and Hetherington marts, there has been continued investment, including the installation of a new covered area at Kirkby Stephen completed in 2016. Plans are currently being drawn-up for the development and modernisation of the market at Newtown St Boswells.
"We continue to evaluate and assess the development of electronic trading and an updated website was launched in the year. We are also assessing the online trading of livestock.”
With its heritage in auctioneering, farming and the rural economy, the group also has businesses encompassing property, insurance and printing. 
During the last year, the land agency business H and H Land and Property, has developed its geographical coverage with the opening of a new office at Newtown St Boswells and further development at Kendal. 
There has also been development of the group’s own property interests in both Carlisle and Edinburgh, which includes a £5m project at Rosehill, Carlisle. 
“This is a solid set of results in what are some challenging markets and it is testament to the H and H staff, that we continue to see development across our customer base. 
"As we look to the future, the broader economy in which we operate is uncertain, but given that we are unable to directly influence this, our aim is to continue to focus on developing all of our businesses backed by good products and excellent customer service,” added Mr Richardson.