Elgin-based Gleaner Oils recorded its first-ever trading loss last year, according to figures just released.

However chairman Billy Laing told Forecourt Trader that things are currently looking up: “Last year was a bad year for everybody but we’re a strong established company with good liquidity. This year we have returned to profit with sales growing every month.”

Gleaner recorded a pre-tax loss of £241,110 for the 2009 calendar year compared with a pre-tax profit of £647,046 in 2008. Its turnover dropped from £123.7m in 2008 to £103m last year.

In the company’s report and accounts, the directors’ report blamed much of the downturn in trade to the lack of tourists in rural areas where most of its forecourts are sited.

Gleaner owns 11 forecourts including Skiach Services in Dingwall, Ross-shire, which is the UK’s most northerly 24-hour filling station.