GRAIN merchant WN Lindsay appears to be benefiting from the booming Scotch whisky market after recording a hike in profits and turnover.

The company, which has its registered office at Tranent, East Lothian, is a major supplier of malting barley and distilling wheat, as well as providing fertiliser, seed and feed into agricultural markets.

Annual accounts lodged at Companies House show turnover grew from £105.3 million to £114.8m in the 12 months to May 31, 2013. In spite of a rise in administrative expenses, from £2.27m to £2.46m, pre-tax profits increased 7% from £2.48m to £2.66m.

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Writing in the accounts, the directors said: "Due to poor grain yields this year, we consider that margins will come under pressure on both purchases and sales.

"However, with decent autumn plantings, we believe that there will be a more balanced cereal harvest in 2014."

Average staff numbers were steady at 47, while employee costs rose from £2.44m to £2.51m.

Directors' remuneration including pension contributions increased from £915,507 to £940,306. The highest-paid individual director saw their total remuneration drop from almost £260,000 to £206,194 mainly as a result of reduced pension contribution. Dividend payments totalled £499,500 in the year, compared to £225,000.

Capital spending was up from around £750,000 to more than £1.7m while net debt widened from £1.55m to £4.3m.

The business was founded in 1864 by William N Lindsay and remains family-owned.