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Scott Timber: Profits soar at Fife pallet business

The firm produces more than 16.5 million pallets per year.
The firm produces more than 16.5 million pallets per year.

Fife-based Scott Timber saw pre-profits soar by more than 30% as it toasted a “strong performance” across the group’s pallet businesses.

Headquartered at Halbeath Interchange Business Park in Dunfermline, the firm produces 16.5 million pallets each year.

Scott Timber also has annual kiln capacity for 5.6 million ISPM15, heat-treated export pallets and last year diverted 22,000 tonnes of timber from landfill through is pallets recovery and reuse service.

Newly filed accounts for the firm show turnover grew from £108 million in 2018, to £118m for the year ending December 31, 2019 – an increase of 8.3%.

Pre-tax profits at Scott Timber leapt by 30.1% over the period from £7.1m to £9.2m.

Commenting in the firm’s annual report, group operations director, Norman Scott said:

“The occurrence of the global outbreak of Covid-19 subsequent to the year-end has resulted in an elevated level of uncertainty within the UK economy.

Scott Timber group operations director Norman Scott.

“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the company has continued to operate throughout to support our customers working in key sectors such as food and pharmaceutical distribution.

“The directors believe the company remains in a strong position to continue to provide a first-class service to its customer base.”

Mr Scott added the modern manufacturing facilities and systems would ensure the business is well placed to capitalise on future growth opportunities.

Over the reporting period, staff numbers grew by eight to 637, with 84 employees working in administrative roles, 545 engaged in production and eight in management.

Wages and associated costs came to £19.7m.

Parent company

The ultimate parent company of Scott Timber is Scott Group Investments.

Separately filed accounts for Scott Group Investments, show an increase in turnover from £174.5m in 2018, to £176.3m for the year ending December 31, 2019.

Pre-tax profits grew from £7.8m, to £10.5m over the period.

Director Norman Scott said the pandemic and lockdown had a “dramatic impact” on the group’s pallet businesses.

Some individual sites experienced a drop off in activity levels to around 45% of what would be considered normal.

He said: “This will have a significant impact on Group turnover in 2020.”

Mr Scott also pointed to the acquisition of Luton-based Direct Pallets.

He said: “This business is an important addition to the reconditioned pallet business unit, providing a strategically important additional location and an enhanced offering to the growing number of customers looking to benefit from our pallet recovery service.”

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