John Mitchell

The government’s furlough scheme has proven to be a lifeline for Scottish haulier John Mitchell (Grangemouth) during a “tough” trading year.

MD Iain Mitchell told that it had experienced a “major slowdown” after reporting a £2.1m profit for the year ending 31 March 2020.

However, he remained confident it would recover during 2021.

Its latest results showed it also increased turnover by 12% to £19.2m, but the subsequent lockdown meant it was forced to utilise the furlough scheme.

Mitchell said: “Trading through Covid has been tough with customers closing thankfully temporarily.

“I am so grateful for the furlough scheme, it allowed us to keep drivers on and when one customer who utilised 14 Class C drivers did not reopen on the same scale, we had time to put the drivers on modern apprenticeships and upskill them to Class C + E and transfer them to the artic vehicle fleet – a happy solution for all that wanted it.”

Mitchell acknowledged that the business had been “on a roll” over the last few years and it had been able to introduce changes as it invested in a new generation to spearhead the business in the coming years.

Two new directors were appointed in October – Ross Mitchell and Alexander Mcgiven.

Mitchell added: “Seeing the changes we have made in the business start to show results, we had a major slow down and whilst things are still okay they are not as good as last year.

“I am sure we will recover during 2021.”