BUCCLEUCH has reported a profit of more than £23 million, which it said was mainly due to property revaluations and sales.

MDS Estates, parent company of Buccleuch, posted a group turnover of £54m in its annual report for the year ending October 31, 2018, against £35.9m the year before.

The company that manages the assets of the Duke of Buccleuch and his family said its adjusted profit before tax in 2017 stood at a £4.8m loss.

The group said its sales of land and property reflected its commitment to reducing geographical footprint.

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The Duke stood down as chairman of the company to be succeeded by former Tesco Bank chief Benny Higgins as executive chairman. The Duke’s son, the Earl of Dalkeith, Lord Walter Scott, has been elected as vice-chairman.

Mr Higgins said: “We find ourselves on the cusp of an exciting period of change for Buccleuch.

“Within the commercial property sector, the commercial and residential markets have had a positive year, with record levels of investment and sustained growth in rental and capital values which were better than predicted."

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He added: “Brexit continues to cause uncertainty across all the sectors in which Buccleuch operate, although the true impact will not be known for a few years.

"We will continue to plan our various land uses, from forestry and farming, to hospitality and renewable energy, with a clear focus on economic, environmental and community considerations.

“In doing so, we will continue to review and shrink the footprint of Buccleuch, which, together with new projects and other investments will allow the business to maintain a surer footing.”

Buccleuch actively farms 159,000 acres across its four estates and, over the year, the forestry team have continued their work planting and maintaining 24,250 acres of commercial and heritage woodlands.

Alongside these more traditional rural industries, Buccleuch’s commercial property interests had a positive year and further investment was made into Dalkeith Country Park to improve the customer experience, it said.