Difficult trading reported as sheep volumes drop, particularly in southern Europe
Livestock auctioneer John Swan & Sons has posted a first-half loss of £135,403.
This compares with a pre-tax profit of £1,440 posted for the first half of 2011.
The Newtown St Boswells-based company said first-half trading had been “much more difficult than previously”, mainly from a drop in sheep volumes “arising from economic uncertainties, particularly in the market for lamb in southern Europe”.
Chairman Alastair Ritchie said: “Accordingly, our auctioneering business recorded a small loss.
“Unfortunately, as shareholders are well aware, a dip in trading profits accentuates our exposure to the necessary costs associated with our public company status.
“This is particularly frustrating, but somewhat inevitable whilst the current economic climate prevails.”
First-half revenues to October 31, 2012, fell 15 per cent on the previous year to £908,094, with staff costs rising nearly eight per cent to £516,512.
Total assets have fallen 14 per cent on the same period a year ago, from £6.32 million to £5.38 million.
The company said its cash balance dropped from £1,056,917 at April 30, 2012, to a net overdrawn position of £78,033 at October 31, 2012, “largely due to the increase in debtors at 31 October 2012, a peak trading time for the auction business”.
The equivalent cash position at October 31, 2011, was £280,004 overdrawn.