CLYDE Union, the Glasgow engineering firm formerly owned by Jim McColl’s Clyde Blowers Capital, has dealt a blow to hopes the rally in the crude price has boosted the sector in Scotland as it reported sharp falls in annual revenues and orders.

The latest accounts for the US-owned company, which supplies pumps used by oil and gas firms, show Clyde Union's turnover fall 15 per cent in 2017, to £38.2m, from £45.2m in the preceding year.

Order bookings fell around 12% to £40.7m from £46.2m.

However, the company cut annual losses to £7.9m before tax, from £12.4m.

In their strategic report, dated September 4, directors said Clyde Union had experienced a continuation of the downturn in its key markets.“The recovery in upstream oil and gas investment through upgrading and refurbishment has yet to materialise across the industry,” they added.

The comments suggest that while sentiment has improved in areas such as the North Sea recently, amid the increase in the crude price since late 2016, the supply chain remains under pressure.

Some oil and gas firms have approved North Sea investments this year. However, work on the projects concerned is in the early stages.

Scotland’s engineering sector was hit hard by the deep cuts in spending made by North Sea firms in response to the sharp fall in the crude price from 2014 to 2016. These triggered thousands of job losses across the country.

Clyde Union’s monthly average number of employees fell to 313 last year, from 402 in the preceding year. The firm had nearly 900 staff on its books in Cathcart in 2011, when US-based SPX acquired it from Clyde Blowers.

In the latest accounts directors said: “The company is a key part of SPX FLOW Inc’s business and continues to develop strong relationships with existing and new customers.”