ENTEPRENEUR Ian Suttie's First Tech investment vehicle grew profits by 85% in the latest financial year when the group increased its investment in ­industries ranging from oil services to tidal energy.

First Tech achieved £2.4 million pre-tax profit in the year to 30 April compared with £1.3m in the preceding period.

Turnover increased by around 25% annually, to £18.5m from £14.9m. First Tech said the group's Nautricity business invested £3m in its tidal energy device, ahead of a key stage in its development.

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Nautricity hopes to start ­generating power from a tidal "hot spot" off The Mull of Kintyre, in the West of Scotland in 2015. The company said this will be the first, next generation, tidal technology to be deployed on a commercial tidal site.

First Tech also invested a further £4.1m in capital ­equipment for the First Marine Solutions business to rent to oil and gas firms.

The group said its First Subsea and Mooring Systems businesses had built strong positions in their respective markets and are well placed to capitalise on worldwide opportunities in oil and gas markets.

First Tech also has interests in the whisky and construction industries.

Mr Suttie sold his Orwell oil services firm to America's Weatherford International in 2001 for around £115m.

He invests in oil and gas fields through his First Oil business.