CR Smith, the Scottish double-glazing and conservatories specialist, returned to profit in the latest period leaving it better placed to handle a downturn.

Latest accounts for the Dunfermline-based firm show CR Smith recorded operating profits of £248,458 in the year to March, despite the costs involved in pursuing a £4.6m claim against an unnamed party in respect of what the company alleged was a "deficient supplier provided component".

In the preceding period, covering the 18 months to March 2007, CR Smith made an operating loss of £536,473.

In their report to the accounts, dated October 14, the directors said CR Smith had achieved a significant improvement in line with budgeted plans. They said they were satisfied with the company's prospects as it had returned to an acceptable level of profitability.

Owned by Gerard Eadie since 1977, CR Smith could be in for a challenging year. Many companies are grappling with the consequences of what is expected to be a marked downturn in consumer spending and falling house prices.

Survey data indicate that sales of big ticket items like furniture are running well below the levels recorded last year.

Some sector watchers believe firms like CR Smith could benefit from the slowdown in the housing market as it may prompt some homeowners to upgrade their properties rather than move.

CR Smith describes itself as Scotland's biggest home improvement specialist.

However, with mortgages and unsecured debt becoming harder to obtain, some consumers may have to shelve plans to invest in things like conservatories.

In the latest accounts filed at Companies House, the directors wrote that CR Smith was pursuing an action to recover £4,646,000 costs from an unnamed party in the Court of Session. The case dates back to 1996.

The abbreviated financial statements did not give details of turnover.

A spokesperson for CR Smith said: "Last year sales were up 17%. Trading at CR Smith since March 2008 has remained buoyant. It would seem to us that despite the fall in house prices, people are still investing in their home, starting with windows and doors to ensure it is safe and secure.

"The company is currently recruiting sales people."