Perth developer and civil engineering group I&H Brown has reported a steep rise in its profits.
The first lockdown saw significant losses for the family-run business between March and June last year.
For the year ending August 30 2020, turnover fell to £49 million, an £11m drop from the year previous.
However, pre-tax profits jumped to £1.9m from £180,000 in 2019.
Managing director Scott Brown said: “Turnover often fluctuates in the business although one reason is that we reduced our business in England following some loss-making contracts.
“The rise in profitability is due to improved margins across our business also due in part to the contraction of our English business.”
‘Our workload has been excellent’
Mr Brown also expects an upturn in profit for the current financial year.
The managing director said: “We anticipate an upturn in profit across our business on an increased turnover.
“Our workload has been excellent comprising a diverse range of projects.”
These include Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) offshore wind farm, West Craigs infrastructure for Lloyds Bank in Edinburgh and the Blindwells new town in East Lothian for Hargreaves Land.
The firm has work secured for the next six months totalling £34m, which “has never been better”, Mr Brown said.
The development division includes projects at East Kingsway in Dundee and a large site in North Dunfermline.
Plans for a Tim Hortons drive-thru were rejected by councillors earlier this year.
A result from the appeal is expected “imminently.”
‘Large strategic expansion’ in Dunfermline
Further land sales are being negotiated in North Dunfermline.
“North Dunfermline is a large strategic expansion which is largely in the control of I&H Brown,” Mr Brown said.
“Discussions are ongoing with Fife Council to agree the funding of a new primary school to allow further development parcels, including affordable housing, to be completed.
“The development division continues to progress towards site starts on several other strategic landholdings which either have planning consent or which are allocated for development.
“Strong housebuilder interest continues to be shown across a range of sites.”
The managing director – son of founder Hardie, who died in March – said costs for raw materials have risen.
“We are experiencing cost increases in raw materials and supply challenges making the proper pricing of work and the strength of our supply chain extremely important,” he added.
Supporting the NHS
The firm has also donated £12,000 to NHS Charities Together.
The money is earnings from one of its excavators at Winchburgh, ‘the lockdown ranger” – named by a local school pupil.
The donation is being matched by Winchburgh Developments.