The trading companies which make up Fife timber specialist James Donaldson & Son Ltd produced a mixed performance in the last financial year.
The family-owned firm revealed an overall increase in profits of around £300,000 to almost £2.5 million when accounts for the group, which employed an average of 650 staff in financial year 2013/14, were published in late summer.
Annual accounts for each of Donaldson’s subsidiaries have now been published at Companies House, showing improved profits in three group entities, a reduced loss in another and an increased loss in a fifth unit.
Donaldson Timber Engineering, focused on the manufacture of roof trusses and the distribution of wood engineered products, was the largest of the operating companies by turnover in the year to March 31.
The operation produced revenues of £42.74m in the period, significantly up on the £35.86m of a year earlier, and pre-tax profits were £360,000 ahead at £1.84m.
In his strategic report to the accounts, company secretary Ian Hawkins said an improvement in market conditions and strong cost controls helped the firm to increase pre-tax profits by 25.1% during the year.
The firm’s Perth-headquartered merchanting business MGM Timber, which operates from 13 outlets across Scotland, also enjoyed a rise in pre-tax profits from £1.19m to £1.35m during the year as turnover pushed almost £1m ahead to £38.75m.
Mr Hawkins said the directors considered the profits return as an “excellent performance”, and said a 2.6% increase in sales during the year came despite the disposal of the firm’s Oban branch.
The group’s second-largest division by turnover, James Donaldson Timber Ltd (JDTL), reduced a loss of £145,000 in 2013 to a £107,000 loss for the year just gone.
The improved figure was achieved as revenues in the unit which specialises in the importing of timber, sawmilling, preservation and the manufacture of MDF products rose from £32.76m to £41.65m.
Mr Hawkins said the assets and liabilities of group subsidiary Parker Kislingbury had been “hived-up” into JDTL on July 1 2013, and the company had since operated out of three sites in Fife, Lancashire and Buckingham.
He said turnover had increased 27% due to the combined effects of the new site and improved conditions, particularly in the final quarter of the year.
However, he said pressure remained on margins and, whilst operating profits had increased to £94,000 from a loss of £27,000 the year previous, the directors viewed the result as “disappointing.”
Management was confident of a “significant improvement” in the year ahead.
The Parker Kislingbury accounts show an increased loss from £4,000 to £50,000 for the year to March 31, although the company actually ceased trading the previous June.
The company’s latest venture, James Donaldson Insulation, produced a maiden profit of £11,000 in its first full year of trading, turning around a loss of £90,000 from the previous period.
Turnover rose from £983,000 to £2.75m and Mr Hawkins said the directors were “encouraged” by the progress of the fledgling business.