Donaldson timber profits branded ‘commendable’

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TIMBER group James Donaldson & Sons hailed a “commendable” rise in profits as the Markinch-based firm overcame a “difficult economic environment”.

Operating profits rose to £2.5 million in the year to 31 March from £2.1m the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

The surplus included a £249,222 gain following the closure of the firm’s final salary pension scheme in June, 2012.

Stripping out the pensions gain, operating profits rose by 7 per cent, despite turnover remaining flat at £105.4m.

Writing in the directors’ report, company secretary Ian Hawkins said: “Economic conditions in our sector remained difficult during the year, particularly over the quieter winter period when competition was intense. Given this backdrop, the group performed well.”

Executive chairman Neil Donaldson said the firm invested £1.2m in machinery for its sawmill at Chorley, in Lancashire.

Managing director Scott Cairns added: “Our business made considerable progress despite a combination of low housing starts and poor general construction activity.

“All core trading companies within the Donaldson Group have grown market share in the year. In particular, MGM Timber Scotland and Donaldson Timber Engineering exceeded expectations and produced market leading performances, a magnificent accomplishment.”

Neil Donaldson is the fifth generation of his family to run the company, which was founded in 1860. His father, George, is “honorary president” and his two sons also work for the firm.