This firm is now run by the great-great-grandsons of the founder John Swire, who established a cotton trading company in Liverpool in 1816. The business has its headquarters in London but has interests around the world, many based in Hong Kong. Sir Adrian and Sir John Swire oversee diverse activities such as property, including more than 1.7m acres of agricultural land in Australia, franchises for bottling Coca-Cola, a stake in Cathay Pacific Airways, and industrial and shipping operations. Next year will be more challenging, with Cathay Pacific’s contribution likely to be affected by the Sars outbreak. John Swire & Sons reported sales of £1,923m in 2002, when it had 135,028 employees. It made an operating profit of £305m, taking into account the profit contribution from Cathay Pacific.
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