By FWi staff

PERTH-based United Auctions has announced a pre-tax profit of 2.58 million in the year to 31 January, compared with a loss of 625,000 the previous year.

Turnover increased by 11% to 8.9m and chairman Peregrine Moncreiffe said: “The company has great potential to benefit from its strong competitive position and has emerged from turbulent times with its reputation and finances intact.”

Although the bulk of the 1999-2000 profit stems from the sale of the Eastgate site in Inverness, the results show an operating profit of 262,000 compared with the 790,000 operating loss the year before.

As well as livestock marketing, the UA group is also involved in a range of other sectors, including insurance, animal genetics, rural property and meat wholesaling.

Shareholders will be asked at the annual general meeting on 22 May to approve the directors recommendation of a final dividend of 3p/share. An interim dividend of 2p/share has already been paid.