TURNER & Co the Glasgow-based industrial conglomerate has highlighted an improvement in market conditions after it increased profits 11% against a tough backdrop.

The family-owned group made a pre-tax profit of £16.1 million in the year to March 29, compared with £14.5m in the preceding 12 months following strong performances from its diesel engineering and facilities management and vehicle hire businesses.

Writing in the company's accounts for the year, the chairman Gordon Turner said the profit was ahead of budget and a "meaningful" increase on the previous year.

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He added: "Although there is still some evidence of the lingering economic effects of the downturn, improvements in those ares that were most affected are now sufficiently well established for us to be confident about the future performance of all of the group's divisions going forward."

Signalling confidence, the group acquired the Coatbridge-based Northburn Industrial Services waste oil recycling business in August.

In July it acquired 100% control of Iceni Marine Services, which supports offshore wind power operations.

The diesel and facilities management division increased pre-tax profits to £12.2m in the latest financial year, from £9.7m in the preceding period.

The vehicle hire arm made £3.5m profit, up from £2.5m.

The aviation services division held profits at £1.4m.

Losses in the construction access division widened to £912,000 from £68,000. Directors noted tough conditions in the sector.

Total turnover fell 3%, to £262.7m from £271.2.

It paid dividends totalling £1.6m, same as last year.