Ogilvie profits boosted by streamlined costs

Duncan Ogilvie, chief executive of Ogilvie Group. Picture: Contributed
Duncan Ogilvie, chief executive of Ogilvie Group. Picture: Contributed
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Ogilvie Group, the Stirling-based mini conglomerate, has cheered a rise in annual profits despite a drop in turnover, as a squeeze on costs led to a “stable” financial performance.

The family-owned business, which employs some 550 people in 12 locations across UK, posted revenues of £238 million, excluding joint ventures, in the year to 30 June, down by £31m from the previous year.

However, the group increased pre-tax profits by 8 per cent to £5.8m as it focused on streamlining processes.

Chief executive Duncan Ogilvie said: “Despite a drop in overall group turnover last year, the increase in profit demonstrates the efficiency of our business processes during what has been a very solid performance throughout the year.

“With a healthy order pipeline, we are confident that the business will continue to grow in the coming year.”

Ogilvie Fleet, the company’s vehicle hire division, boosted its fleet size by 13 per cent to more than 18,200 vehicles by the means of two acquisitions. The group acquired English firms Tislun Vehicle Contracts in September 2017 and Scorpion Vehicle Management in January.

Ogilvie cited continued tight control on vehicle costs and disposals and a sustained buoyant used car and van market as key drivers of growth.

It also bought Active Auto Solutions, the Lincoln-based accident management firm, which the group expects to deliver continued profit “as the full benefits of synergies with Ogilvie Fleet are realised”.

The company said its construction arm performed strongly in a “slow market environment” and has become “one of the sector leaders within the hotel and student accommodation markets”. The value of Ogilvie Construction’s order book grew to £75m, up from £67m in 2017.

Ogilvie Homes achieved steady growth as private house sales and average selling prices continued to improve, it currently has house building land banks or options for 906 units, compared with 852 units last year.

In April 2018, the group purchased the remaining 50 per cent of the share capital of Freedom Homes (Stirling) from its joint venture partners.

Meanwhile, Net-Defence, Ogilvie’s IT and cyber security division, grew its client portfolio and achieved Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation, which will enable it to undertake audit and accreditation for businesses looking to achieve this government standard.

Ogilvie added: “The group’s strength lies in the diversity of its businesses and the expertise of their management teams.

“We continue to invest in skills and training across the workforce to maintain the high standards of delivery and customer service for which Ogilvie Group is recognised.”