One of Scotland’s main Claas dealerships, Sellars Agriculture, enjoyed a boost in profits last year.
According to accounts filed with Companies House, the machinery firm reported pre-tax profits of £121,152 for the year ended September 30, 2016.
This is up from pre-tax profits of £9,212 the year before.
Turnover at the Oldmeldrum-based firm was down 13% to £23.749million, from £27.404million previously.
In the accounts, Sellars said: “The directors are satisfied with the result for the year given the tough conditions in the market. The directors anticipate tough market conditions to continue for the foreseeable future and are managing costs accordingly.”
Sellars, which also has bases at Forres, Huntly, Cupar, Perth and Letham in Angus, employed 77 staff in the year. Its main franchises are for Claas, Lemken and Stewart Trailers.
Managing director Neil Wattie said profits had increased, despite the drop in turnover, as a result of cost-saving measures including the closure of its Newbridge depot, near Edinburgh.
He attributed the drop in turnover to farmers reducing their spend on big-ticket items, such as combine harvesters, and said the firm had weathered two years of a drop in sales.
“We suffered quite badly because a lot of our business comes from combines, which is a big spend,” said Mr Wattie.
“There seems to have been more of a withdrawal of spending on big pieces of kit.”
He said the firm had not been too badly affected by the Scottish Government’s late delivery of subsidy payments to farmers, but admitted the team had to work a bit harder to collect money.
Looking ahead, Mr Wattie was upbeat about the future.
He reported a “slight improvement” in sales in the current financial year, and said turnover for the year was likely to be up.
“It’s better than expected,” he said.
“Looking ahead I feel more confident going into the 2018/19 year. The grain price has been increasing and there’s quite a log of positive talk for a lot of combine trading next year.”