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Soap firm bubbles up with profit rise

ALEXANDER Ross Holdings, the Falkirk-based soap maker, hotel toiletries and janitorial products supplier, has lifted profits by 7.7% in its latest financial year.

The group, whose companies include Scottish Fine Soaps, Montague Lloyd and Unico, has posted pre-tax profits of £1.23 million in the year to December 31, according to accounts newly filed at Companies House.

With turnover increasing to £15.3m from £14.6m the year before, the accounts mark continued progress for the company. Results for the previous year showed a 14% increase in profits to £1.14m after a surge in sales at home and abroad, with turnover having risen from £12.5m to £14.6m.

The directors note in the accounts: "The group continued to trade well during 2013 and increased turnover despite a difficult economic climate in the UK. Early indications for 2014 show continued growth for the group."

The accounts show the business generates the bulk of its sales in the UK.

Turnover generated by UK domestic activity rose to £12m, up from £11.8m, while overseas sales increased to £3.3m from £2.8m.

The company, whose headcount held steady at 94 employees, saw staff costs edge up to £2.34m from £2.26m. The accounts show 39 staff were employed in distribution roles, 35 in administrative posts and 20 in production activity.

Directors' remuneration, including company pension contributions to money purchase schemes, rose to £352,978 from £336,485, with the package of the highest-paid director rising to £101,008 from £94,930.

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