More than 160 years of trading, six generations of family ownership and never a closure – until Covid-19.
Major Fife employer James Donaldson & Sons shut for more than two months last year as the pandemic hit.
However, amid the gloom the company has announced the launch of an innovative new brand.
Accounts for the Glenrothes-headquartered timber specialist shows the financial impact of the closure from March 23 until June.
Pre-tax profits for the 18 months to September 30 fell to £5 million compared to £8.2m for the prior 12 months.
The firm recorded revenues of £267.8m over the 18-month period against sales of £182m in the prior year.
The firm operates several businesses that cover timber engineering, saw-milling and distribution, merchanting, roofing and cladding distribution, and laminate manufacturing.
Surge in raw material prices
In her strategic report, finance director Arlene Cairns said revenues had remained strong while profit margins were under more pressure.
She said: “For the past couple of years, we have experienced unprecedented fluctuations in the pricing of our basic raw materials.
“This was primarily driven by the impact of global demand and the devaluation of sterling.
“As a business we source material from both domestic and overseas supply chains.
“The uncertainty due to Covid-19 has led to significant inefficiencies and imbalances in these supply chains.
“Strong demand, matched with low stock levels, has led to exponential growth in raw material prices across our market.
“Top line revenues are strong, however further pressure is placed on profit margins.”
The finance director described demand since June as “unprecedented”.
She said this was the result of the pent-up demand created by the national lockdown.
New leadership, new business
The sixth generation of the Donaldson family took the reins of the firm last year.
Andrew Donaldson was appointed chief executive and Michael Donaldson took over the role of chairman.
Previous chairman Neil Donaldson remains honorary president, while former managing director Scott Cairns retired.
This year the company has launched a new home office furniture business to meet growing demand.
Buzz Home Office offers crafted, made-to-measure home office and study solutions.
It embraces current homeworking lifestyles that have come as a result of the pandemic.
Buzz offers a mix of pre-built space-saving units that are delivered pre-assembled.
There are also a made-to-measure solutions for those with limited space to work with at home and options for transforming a room into a home office.
The products are available in a wide selection of colours and woodgrains.
Chief executive Andrew Donaldson said: “Innovation has always been central to the JDS vision and we are delighted to announce the launch of the exciting new brand.
“Everyone has faced challenges over the last year and we were eager to create products that would support the ‘new normal’ ways of working.
“We always put customers, service and quality at the core of everything we do. I believe Buzz Home Office will reflect this in market.”