FORSYTHS, the whisky still maker and supplier of equipment to the oil and gas industry, has steadied profits at £4.3 million - despite the challenges facing the North Sea brought by the crude price slump.

The Rothes-based company described the results, for the year ended October 31, as solid.

While turnover narrowed to £38 million from £41m in 2014, Forsyths was able to lift its gross profit margin by three percentage points to 26 per cent thanks to close costs control.

Chairman Richard Forsyth said: “The results for the year have been very good despite the continued downturn in the oil and gas industry which has had an impact on the business. This has largely been offset by a very strong performance on our distillation side, which continues to be very positive going forward “

The group employed an average of 337 last year, down 12 on the year before.

Its highest-paid director received remuneration and company pension scheme contributions of £127,238 in 14/15, compared with £153,466 in the previous year.