Carr’s has revealed a slight turnaround in the financial performance of its milling business, with “weather-related factors” having a beneficial impact.

In its interim management statement for the 18 weeks to 6 July, the firm said that its milling arm was operating in an industry plagued by over-capacity and volatile input prices, but that it had begun to improve.

Contrary to much of the baking industry’s experiences of last summer’s poor wheat harvest, Carr’s has been a positive one, after it led to a significantly greater dependence on imports.

“The port-side location of two of our three mills (Kirkcaldy and Silloth) continues to give Carr’s cost-effective access to overseas wheat,” it said, adding that the cold and wet conditions of this year’s winter and spring, and the outlook for another low-volume harvest this summer could result in further reliance on overseas wheat.

Carr’s added that the closure of Premier Foods’ Glasgow mill in Dunaskin at the end of March eased some capacity-related pressures in the Scottish market.

Its own state-of-the-art mill, currently being built at Kirkcaldy, is on track for commissioning in September, with the planned significant efficiencies and improvements in operating margins coming through next year, said Carr’s.