FORSYTHS, the Scotch whisky stills manufacturer and steel fabricator, has reported a fall in turnover and profits as growth slowed in the Scotch and Irish spirits production industries.

New accounts for the historic company, which has been owned by the Forsyth family since 1933, show a drop in pre-tax profits to £4.7 million for the year ended October 31, down from £8.9m.

That came as turnover at the Rothes-based firm tumbled to £47m from £58m, though international sales surged by 23 per cent to more than £12m.

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The firm supplies stills to malt whisky distilleries to customers in the Far East, namely Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.

As well as manufacturing stills and distillation equipment, the fabrication business designs and makes a range of equipment for the oil and gas industry, including structural steelwork, piping, pressure vessels and tanks. It is also active in the electrical and plumbing, joinery, building and scaffolding services sectors.

Chairman Richard Forsyth said: “I am very heartened to report our good 2018 results.

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“As expected turnover and profits have reduced from our 2017 exceptional year. This is due to a slowing of growth in the Scotch and Irish whisky industries.

“That said our Far East, and overseas business in general, continues to flourish. We have seconded a team to the Asia Pacific Region due to the increase in work we are winning from that area to service those customers.

Mr Forsyth added: “There are signs of oil and gas industry contracts increasing which will be a timely intervention.”

Accounts due to be filed this week will show that Forsyths had net assets of £40.6m by year end, up £4m on last time.

The company employed an average of 386 staff over the period, down from 404 last time, while the highest-paid director received remuneration of £134,669, down from £167,241.