Profit before tax doubled to £6million at Scottish metal reprocessor, steel trading, decommissioning and environmental services company John Lawrie Group for the year ended 31 December 2014.

The company’s annual results also show that revenues from continuing operations increased from £74million to £87million.

Group financial director, Charlie Parker, said: “After a year of consolidation for the group in 2013, our results in 2014 showed the benefit of concentrating on the more profitable areas of activity. We continued to improve the working capital and net asset position of the group. Total shareholders’ equity at the year-end amounted to some £43million and we ended 2014 with a cash surplus position. That put us in a strong position going into 2015.”

“As I said a year ago, and it remains true today, our biggest challenge and opportunity remains in dealing with the varying economic conditions in our different market places.Although the majority of our scrap metal continues to be exported to European steel mills, the financial turmoil in China, and its mass over supply of steel, has had a large detrimental effect on the price of ferrous and non-ferrous metals.

“On a positive note, the construction industry in the UK and Europe is seeing good levels of demand for steel product. Not surprisingly the group’s US subsidiary, John Lawrie Inc., has seen a fall in demand from the US oil and gas industry, although this has been offset by product sales to the construction sector in North America.”

Mr Parker added: “Our core business of metal recycling in Aberdeen, Montrose and Evanton, near Inverness, allows us to provide our customers with an excellent and well established support service for oil and gas decommissioning and other dismantling projects. The demand for decommissioning services is really starting to increase, but this is an area in which we have been active for three decades and therefore we have enormous expertise.

“Our activity in this market continues to grow as more assets are being decommissioned, and our planned marketing campaign coupled with a wider service offering will see further developments as we showcase and demonstrate this expertise to the market place.”

Looking to the future, Mr Parker noted: “We will continue to develop our core businesses at home and abroad, but we will always look for new investment opportunities. Our strong financial position will allow us to pursue those that arise over the year ahead.”