12 June 1998

Tough trading sees 38% fall in SCATS returns

FARMER-owned agribusiness SCATS has reported a 38% slip in profit before exceptional tax and provisions to £424,000, on a turnover of £80m.

But an exceptional provision of £869,000 was made to cover the disposal of the machinery division, which has lost money in seven of the past 11 years, producing a loss of £491,000 for the year ended Jan 31.

Tough competition in the arable business means that the company is seeking a suitable acquisition to expand its service and product range, says chairman, Andrew Christie Miller. Although cash in the bank now stands at £342,000, a tenth of last years levels, mainly due to the purchase of two Batchelor farm stores, a freeing of working capital from the machinery business will boost coffers substantially.

Allocation of profit to the 2800 farmer members includes interest on shares at 6%, almost £104,000. &#42