Insurance broker Bruce Stevenson has bought Turriff-based Youngson Insurance Consultants on the back of a record financial year.

The firm said the move closes out its most recent five-year plan of growth, with revenue for the year ended August 31 2018 up to £7.3 million from £6.6m the year before, gross profit increased to £1.5 million from £1.37m in 2017.

Its gross written premium (GWP), the total premiums' worth before deductions, grew by 10 per cent to £33m as renewable energy and social housing have now become the firm’s two largest sectors.

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The broker has also stepped up activity in commercial, property, private client, art, and farms and estates over the last twelve months.

It has made further ground in hospitality and tourism - where the firm has forged partnerships with industry bodies - and with distilleries, B&Bs and self-catering all experiencing marked traction.

Youngson Insurance Consultants, with a team of seven in Turriff, adds approximately £2.5m in GWP to Bruce Stevenson while strengthening the firm’s offering in Aberdeen and the North East.

Edward Bruce, chief executive, said the move dovetailed with its interest in food and drink, agriculture and renewable energy connected with that part of the country.

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Mr Bruce said: "We tend to do well where we really focus on a sector and invest in it and get to know not only the main players but the other service sectors to differentiate what we are offering.

"As a result our two strongest areas in the past few years have been our renewable energy and social housing divisions.

"We are now trying to replicate that in some other areas we are getting into, food and drink and hospitality."

He said the acquisition of Youngson "does play into the strength" of the North East Scotland food and drink market, adding: "We do a lot in the whisky industry, which is a big player up there, farming and agriculture, and it is an area we are keen to expand into."

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Ian Bremner, director of Youngson Insurance Consultants, said: “While we are well-established in the North East, the firm had been considering how to accelerate our next phase of growth and Bruce Stevenson provides us with the platform to do that.

"We’re greatly encouraged that Edward has made it clear from the start of our negotiations that Bruce Stevenson wants to invest in the team and technology to make that happen.”

Mr Bruce declared: "As an owner-managed independent, we focus on using our expertise to advise people on the most comprehensive ways of protecting what is important to them.

“Youngson is a great fit culturally and they have a loyal, local client base that helps to provide us with a firmer foothold in the North East of Scotland.

"We fully intend to grow the team to take advantage of the opportunities we see in the region.”

He also said: "What we’ve found is that by getting to know our clients better, we can offer more relevant advice, resulting in fewer grey areas and more effective insurance cover."

Bruce Stevenson, described as Scotland’s largest independent insurance broker, was founded in 1981 by current chief executive CEO Edward Bruce’s father, David Bruce.

It is a chartered broker and a founding member of the industry UNA Alliance, and now has 98 people working across five offices, in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Galashiels, London and Turriff.