Highland Fuels has recruited younger blood to lead future growth at a business currently celebrating its 60th year.
Donald MacLeod, currently operations director at Aberdeen-based project management and specialised engineering support services firm Project Development International, will take over as managing director on July 17.
The 36-year-old, who hails from Stornoway, will replace George Shand in the top job, with Mr Shand becoming chairman.
The Inverness firm’s current chairman, leading Scottish businessman Ken Matheson, is to step down.
Mr Matheson – also a Stornoway man – was a founder director of Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, while he has also held boardroom roles at Aberdeen FC and Royal Bank of Scotland.
He is the current chairman of Aberdeen-based property firm FG Burnett.
Highland Fuels was founded in 1957 and supplies fuel to domestic and commercial customers across Scotland from 12 depots, including sites in Aberdeen, Huntly, Inverness, Oban, Ullapool, Stornoway, Kirkwall and Lerwick.
The management changes were revealed as Mr Shand, 53, also highlighted plans to grow the firm’s filling station portfolio.
In September 2014, the company acquired Glasgow-based Thames Gold Holdings and Lunargem which together operated 14 filling stations and supplied fuel to independent dealers and commercial customers.
The integration of Thames Gold and Lunargem also led to a rise in the number of employees on Highland Fuels’ books.
It now has 15 filling stations from Orkney to Campbeltown and Mr Shand said the firm was on the hunt for more sites, although there was currently “nothing in the pipeline”.
He was speaking after results from Companies House revealed the firm, which employs about 200 people, grew pre-tax profits by more than 16% to £1.7million last year.
Turnover fell by 2% to £172.5million due to lingering low oil prices but they also helped total fuel volume sales increase by 9%, compared with 2015.
“We like low oil prices which is not always a popular thing to say north of Perth,” Mr Shand said, adding: “It helps our cash flow.”
Highland Fuels said its filling stations continued to perform strongly and were “again a major contributor” to a 16% increase in operating profits to £1.7million.
The business is owned by Mr Shand, fellow director Isobel Cruden and former managing director Colin McNab.