25 June 1998
Plea for auctions as Swan profits slump

SCOTTISH livestock farmers must continue to support the auction system, according to Lewis McGill, chairman of the auctioneer John Swan and Sons.

He said: “If auction marts were to disappear there is a danger of farmers being screwed into the ground, especially if they have to deal directly with supermarkets”.

Mr McGill was speaking after announcing that Swans pre-tax profits for the year to 30 April had fallen from last years record of £514,358 to 228,130.

He said the results were a reflection of the major problems facing the industry. Substantial reductions in the prices achieved for all classes of stock meant the level of commission had fallen and this, coupled with a reduction of cull numbers, resulted in the decline in profits.

The firm operates at St Boswells in the Borders and Gorgie in Edinburgh. It is the only livestock auction company with a full listing on the Stock Exchange.

  • The Scotsman 25/06/98 page 32