A Perthshire-based plant hire firm has confirmed it has started a redundancy process with some of its workforce.
Morris Leslie said it had to take action to safeguard the business after feeling the impact of a downturn in the construction sector.
The company, which has its headquarters just outside Perth, operates its plant hire business from 12 locations across the UK.
Morris Leslie’s interests also include plant sales, motor vehicle auctions, the provision of self-storage facilities as well as renting commercial and residential properties.
Group operations director Graham Ogilvie would not confirm the number of jobs at risk but said the 250-strong workforce needed to be “trimmed” to safeguard the business.
Mr Ogilvie said: “Some locations will have no redundancies, in some we’re talking about a handful of jobs if that.
“We are of the view that our business won’t immediately return to the same level it was at before lockdown.
“Even at this early stage we’ve seen some areas responding better than other areas. It’s very uncertain.
“When the business returns to the level it needs to be we will be taking staff back on again.”
Mr Ogilvie, who joined the group in 2012, said Morris Leslie had found it “challenging” to run the business in Scotland and England with two different sets of rules.
The company has utilised the furlough scheme and is bringing back staff as volumes pick up.
“The business in England is around 10 weeks ahead of the one in Scotland,” he said.
“We are way behind the curve up north while England has been bouncing back fairly positively. The Highlands have been performing OK but Tayside and the Central Belt have been particularly challenging.
“Every week we are bringing people back from furlough as workload starts to pick up again and it’s very much on an individual location depending on the revenue in that area.”
The company’s most recent accounts showed its revenues for the year ending April 30 2019 were £93.4 million with pre-tax profits of £1.3m.
The company was started by Morris Leslie at a farm in Rait, Perthshire, where he began buying and selling construction equipment.
The plant hire division started in 1980 and in 1988 the company bought the RAF Errol Airfield where it started auctioning plant.
Last year the business purchased the formed Edrington building, known locally as the Famous Grouse building, at West Kinfauns.