Fife-based Craig & Rose Ltd the UK’s oldest paint manufacturer, whose distinctive red oxide coated the Forth Bridge for more than a century made a profit of £220,000 last year.
Craig & Rose is one of the companies of entrepreneur Alaster Cunningham’s Abertay Capital Holdings group, which also includes Abercastle Development, Applied Capital, CSD Hire and Speciality Hotels.
The Halbeath company was the best-performing in the group last year, achieving a profit of £220,058 from capital reserves of £4.1 million in abbreviated accounts submitted to Companies House. Total assets less liabilities rose 5.4% to £4.2m.
A spokesman for the company said they were satisfied with their progress.
The firm was formed in Edinburgh in 1829 by James Craig and Hugh Rose. They were merchants in oil, the base material of paint, which they saw the potential of developing to meet growing demand for protective and decorative coating.
The company’s red oxide helped make the Forth Bridge one of Scotland’s most recognisable landmarks.
It was used on the Forth Bridge until 1993, when the structure’s management board switched to a different covering.
During both world wars Craig & Rose were prime supplier to the Royal Navy, producing many gallons of the most durable battleship grey.
In the 1950s, the decade when the term DIY was coined, Craig & Rose became wallpaper distributors, and the company went on to become major suppliers to the burgeoning home decoration market.
As well as its own brand, Craig & Rose manufactures paint for Homebase and launched the Anne McKevitt and Feng Shui ranges.
Its premium 1829 paint for B&Q was recently relaunched as Authentic Period Colours by Craig & Rose for the chain.
Online sales are an increasing part of the company’s activities.
The company moved HQ from Edinburgh to Halbeath in 2000 when Mr Cunningham bought it from its shareholders.
The former owner of the Abercromby car dealership said at the time that the relocation was to help the historic company and help an area which had relatively low employment opportunities.
Jobs were retained and the company’s workforce rose to about 80 people, but has now been reduced to about 40.