Progeny tests of three Hampshire × Duroc, three Hampshire, three Duroc and five Landrace boars were performed to compare the use of crossbred and purebred boars producing pigs, intended for slaughter. Boars were double-mated to Landrace sows, and 830 sire-identified pigs from 92 double-mated litters were farrowed. Significant (P < 0·05) breed of boar effects were observed for birth weight, 21-day weight, daily gain from 56 days to slaughter and age at slaughter, but breed of boar differences for 56-day weight, backfat depth, killing-out percentage and carcass index were not significant. Progeny of the Hampshire × Duroc crossbred performed similarly to pigs sired by purebred Hampshire and Duroc boars. Progeny performance of the Hampshire × Duroc and Duroc boars was almost identical for daily gain, age at slaughter, backfat depth and carcass index. Hampshire-sired pigs grew slightly faster, but progeny of Hampshire × Duroc boars had higher killing-out percentages than either Hampshire- or Duroc-sired pigs. Purebred Landrace pigs were slower growing, had more backfat and lower carcass indexes than crossbred pigs sired by either the Hampshire × Duroc, Hampshire or Duroc boars.