Gleaner Oils, the Elgin-based fuel and oil distribution business and fuel station owner, has reported profit after tax of £404,000 for the year to the end of June, up 13% compared with the previous 12 months (£357,000). 

Sales volume was up 9%, with turnover for the year of £105m.

In 2014 Gleaner Oils launched a major investment programme, since when £3.5m has been spent on upgrades to the tanker fleet and vehicles, forecourt and depot improvements, new IT systems, staff training and development. A new finance director, Iain Thain, was appointed during the year, joining from Highlands and Islands Airports (HIA). Staff numbers held steady at 190.

Commenting on the results, managing director David Todd said: “It has been a good year of progress for the business in a volatile oil and gas market characterised by falling prices and great uncertainty. We have focused on investing for the future, and are pleased to see a dividend from that strategy, with an uplift in gross profit, a strong balance sheet and an increase in sales, including winning new clients for the first time in the Central Belt and Lothians.

“We operate in a high volume, high cost, low margin market, and our turnover is linked to the price of oil, so ‘turnover’ is not a good barometer of our underlying performance. What matters is that our business is as efficient as possible, hence we continue to target efficiency, margins and volume growth. Maintaining a continuing programme of investment and performance improvement will ensure a long-term, sustainable future.”

“Additionally, as Gleaner Oils is firmly rooted in the North of Scotland, we endeavour to be a good community business and employer, and contribute to the communities we serve by creating employment and training opportunities, and sourcing local products and services where possible.”

Founded in 1954, Gleaner Oils owns 9 fuel stations and 11 depots, stretching from Mull in the West to Cowdenbeath in the East, Aberdeen and Skiach in the North, and supplies 60 other fuel stations. The company is an authorised Shell lubricants distributor and also supplies a wide range of products, including agricultural, domestic, industrial, marine, petrol and LPG, and has around 16,000 regular business customers.