ARR Craib Transport grew both annual turnover and profit in its last full year of trading before it was acquired by Gregory Distribution, new accounts show.

In the year to 31 March the Aberdeen headquartered haulier saw its diversification away from the UK oil and gas industry coupled with “excellent retention” of customers pay off.

Turnover - half of which is derived from customers in the UK oil and gas sector - climbed 4.9% to £47m (2017: £45m). Pre-tax profit increased 3% to £1.2m (2017: £1.1m).

“In financial terms, it is very pleasing against a continuing difficult oil and gas industry marketplace, to be able to report another year of strong sales and good profitability,” MD Eddie Anderson said in the strategic report to the accounts.

“Despite very challenging market conditions we have been very successful in retaining our customers and have made substantial wins of new business.

Read more

“It’s very difficult to accurately forecast the next 12 months. What is true is that the company enters this period of uncertainty with a strong and flexible financial base, with a first class workforce and customer base,” he added.

The results also reveal that the firm made £785,000 for fellow Scottish haulier McCaul Haulage and in April 2018 purchased RA Howie (Sauchen), which provides truck maintenance, storage and holds an O-licence authorising up to 27 vehicles and 52 trailers.

Gregory Distribution (Holdings) revealed it had snapped up ARR Craib in October of last year, a move that will catapult it much higher than its 30th place in 2018’s Motor Transport Top 100 listing once the acquisition is recognised in the group’s next set of accounts.