CARRON Phoenix, the Falkirk-based maker of granite sinks, has returned to profit after being stripped of a loss-making division by Swiss owner Franke.

Carron has reported a £261,000 pre-tax profit for 2013, after a £1.26 million loss in 2012, according to accounts just lodged at Companies House.

Turnover fell 28 per cent to £22.4m, after the transfer of Carron Commercial to Franke UK, another subsidiary company, on a no gain or loss basis. The continuing business involves composite sink production and a logistics service to Franke UK, the strategic report says.

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It continues: "The administrative expenses were much lower due to the reduction of costs associated with the commercial business."

The cash generation from operations during 2013 continues to be strong. This will lead to all capital expenditure being funded by cash generated from trading." Cash at the year end increased from £862,000 to £1.25m. The report says the continuing business had a gross profit margin of 16.3 per cent but does not give a prior year figure. Employment fell from 260 to 226. Directors' emoluments rose from £205,000 to £230,000 with the highest-paid receiving £197,000, up from £171,000.

Company secretary Ian King said there had been virtually no effect on employment in Scotland from the commercial arm transfer and trading in 2014 had been fairly stable with the production line seeing a slight increase in volume.

The Swiss group bought Carron Phoenix in 1982 after it had fallen into receivership. The original Carron Company ironworks was founded in 1759.