9 November 2001

SCATStrading figures better

THE Southern Counties Agricultural Trading Society (SCATS) has reported a £2m improvement in its trading results.

The farmer-owned company posted a pre-tax loss of £350,000 on a turnover of £220m for the year ending 30 June 2001.

In the previous 17-month financial period, SCATS suffered a restated pre-tax loss of £2.4m on a turnover of £211m.

Retail sales through the 20 SCATS Countrystores grew 10.6% to £19.7m, accounting for most of the improvement in profitability, says managing director Tim Pollock.

Turnover in the companys arable subsidiaries rose 40% to £191m, but operating profits fell. Mr Pollock attributes this to high costs resulting from the June 2000 acquisition of the former grain division of Countrywide Farmers. Now renamed Grainfarmers, the grain division is one of the UKs largest.

SCATS has 2600 member-shareholders, the vast majority of them farmers. This has fallen by 100 over the past year, mainly due to members retiring from farming, says Mr Pollock. &#42