Aberdeen-based ARR Craib Transport saw off difficult conditions in its key oil and gas sectors last year, helped by several major wins in the construction and fast moving consumer goods markets.

According to its annual results to 31 March 2017, ARR Craib saw turnover rise £44.8m (2016: £43.5m) in the period, with pre-tax profit up to £1.1m (2016: £1m).

The firm, which operates transport services from its bases in Aberdeen, Cumbernauld, Stockton and Great Yarmouth, continued to battle against an ongoing recession in the oil and gas industry (OGI) sector, from which it draws around half of its customer base.

In the results’ strategic report the company said it had been forced to retender or renegotiate contracts and agreements “in several cases” with OGI clients, during the financial year.

ARR Craib’s non-OGI customer base was also impacted by the Brexit vote, which the firm said had “initially had a negative impact on some of our customers’ growth plans for the short term”.

Despite these challenges, ARR Craib said customer retention levels had been “excellent in the year” with the company also winning several “substantial” new contracts, in sectors including construction and fast moving consumer goods.

The Palletline member, which employs 373 staff, of which 283 are drivers, said growth had been particularly strong in the North of Scotland, in the period, with much of this growth in the food and drinks sector.

ARR Craib’s distribution networks in Aberdeen and Cumbernauld had also performed well, according to the annual result’s strategic report, helped by the firm’s “substantial” investments in upgrading its fleet.

The company currently has 229 vehicles specified on its O-licence.

ARR Craib Transport chief executive officer Eddie Anderson said: “As with many businesses that supply the oil and gas sector, 2016/17 was another challenging year with pressure on margins. However, we did see a slight increase in oil-related activity following on from an incredibly difficult period the previous year.

“This, in addition to the growth of our customer base in other markets, including highly specialised services for food and drink, has allowed ARR Craib to maintain a profit.”

Anderson thanked the firm’s staff for contributing to the firm’s performance, adding that their commitment to customer service and safety “leaves us in a robust position for the current financial year and to respond to ever-changing market conditions”.