IRVINE-based Maxi Caledonian has lifted pre-tax profits by 18 per cent in its latest financial year, driven by growth in its haulage and construction divisions.

The company has booked an increase in earnings rise to £2.13m for the year ending September 30, accounts newly filed at Companies House show.

Turnover was also up, rising to £56m from £50m, as the group hailed significant growth in its haulage subsidiary.

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Pre-tax profits from haulage and warehousing came in at £1.84m, compared with £1.42m the year before, with turnover growing to £47.2m, from £42.8m.

However Maxi warned the subsidiary, which largely operates in England, Wales and Ireland, continues to face pressure on margins because of cost increases and demands from customers to hold prices down.

It noted the group is continuing to invest heavily in new trucks, trailers and facilities to support growth, highlighting that its fleet now comprises more than 700 trailers.

The company said its Livingston-based construction division was now achieving growth and approaching pre-recession levels after turnover and overheads reduced at the start of the downturn.

It said the accounts show a rise in pre-tax profits to £370,000 from £216,000, on turnover up to £8.5m compared with £6.7m the year prior.

Group chairman Gerry Atkinson, who owns the company said it had been "another tough year" for Maxi, "where everyone worked very hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and clients, achieving good growth and an excellent result in current market conditions.

He added: "I would like to sincerely thank all our customers and clients for their continued support, and our staff for the excellent results they achieved."

The company expressed its confidence that the growth of the business will continue on the strength of its balance sheet, management team and "significant reserves", noting that it has no borrowings.