Scots co-op makes loss
SCOTLANDS biggest agricultural supply co-op, North Eastern Farmers, made a loss of £283,000 in the year to the end of June.
But, having recorded a trading loss of £1.9m the previous year, NEF chairman John Mackie said good progress towards profitability was now being made.
The Aberdeenshire-based business, which has 7500 members, reported a turnover to June 30 1999 of £43.2m, down £6.5m on the year.
The reduction, said Mr Mackie, was due mainly to falling product values, lower grain prices and a withdrawal from pig marketing.
But the major re-structuring strategy implemented only three years ago was working, he added. "We are seeing a dramatic improvement in performance despite the difficult trading conditions in an industry under so much pressure."
The business had been turned round from its perilous position three years ago to one that was now preparing for development and expansion, Mr Mackie said.
A 5.5% dividend to shareholders has been recommended by the board, compared with 7% last year, leaving reserves of just over £5m.
Assets include the co-ops former site at Bannermill in Aberdeen which was put on the market recently at offers over £5m and is subject to a housing development planning application. *