By Kristy Dorsey

INDEPENDENT insurance brokerage Bruce Stevenson has posted an 85 per cent increase in operating profits on record revenues off the back of expansion into sectors such as food and drink.

The firm also benefitted from a part-year contribution from Youngson Insurance Consultants, the Turriff-based brokerage acquired in the fourth quarter of 2018. That bolt-on deal extended Bruce Stevenson’s reach into the north-east of Scotland, and added 10 employees to take the total headcount to more than 100.

Revenues during the year to the end of August were £7.6 million, up from £7.1m previously. Operating profit surged to £464,000 as gross written premium (GWP) rose from £33m to £36m.

Founded in 1981 by the father of current chief executive Edward Bruce, Bruce Stevenson has a strong presence in the renewable energy and social housing markets. More recently, the firm has become increasingly active in the distillery sector, while B&Bs and self-catering have been another fast-growing sub-sector.

“The firm is now making a name for itself over a wide range of sectors not only in Scotland but across the UK, and we’ll be looking to build on this position over the next couple of years,” Mr Bruce said. “We will continue to focus on our customers, our people and our relationships with insurers nationwide to ensure we stay ahead of the curve.”

Bruce Stevenson has expanded primarily through organic growth to lay claim as Scotland’s largest independent insurance broker, with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Galashiels, London and Turriff. Following the integration of Youngson, finance director Mark Dallas said the firm is actively looking at further bolt-on acquisitions that will either expand the regional footprint or provide greater access to growing sectors such as food and drink. “We grew all of our main financial metrics – revenue, operating profit, net assets and GWP – in 2018/2019 and have made a strong start to the current year,” Mr Dallas added.