Gleaner Oils continues investment in tough market

New tankers for Gleaner Oils which has around 16,000 regular business customers
New tankers for Gleaner Oils which has around 16,000 regular business customers

Family-owned Gleaner Oils has reported a year of real progress during which it undertook a high level of investment in its sites, tanker fleet, IT systems and staffing as it began to implement a new 5-year growth strategy.

The investment programme has seen extensive forecourt refurbishment, including a complete overhaul of the flagship Skiach service station near Tain, the purchase of many new tankers and vehicles, the upgrade of oil depots and significant investment in IT security.   Staffing increased to 190, and particular emphasis was placed on safeguarding the interests of those who depend on the company pension scheme.

The latest set of accounts filed with Companies House show that turnover rose to nearly £173m and operating profit approached £1 million.

Founded in 1954 by Robin Young, and devolving on his death to his two sons, the business was bought outright by his grand-daughter, Jane Scott, and her husband Stephen in July 2014.   The new owners, together with managing director David Todd, have focused on building the foundations for long term sustainable growth of a business that is firmly rooted in the north of Scotland and the communities it serves.

Commenting on the results, David Todd said: “We operate in a high volume, high cost, low margin market, and as such it is essential our business is as efficient as possible.  We also operate to the very highest industry safety standards demanded by our suppliers and our customers.  Our investment programme has accordingly targeted efficiency, productivity and safety, and we will continue to focus our future investment in these areas.

“Our business is growing, and we want to grow into new rural areas where there’s a need for fuel and oil, and to help those local economies by employing local people.  Contributing to local economies and the well-being of their communities was at the heart of the values of the business founded in 1954, and these values still drive the business today.”

Jane Scott added: “We’re pleased with the progress made since we took ownership and the direction in which the company is now heading.   We receive a lot of support from our suppliers and particularly value the hard work and loyalty of our staff.”

Gleaner Oils has been a major employer in the north of Scotland for many years.  The company owns 10 fuel supply and retail locations stretching from Mull in the west to Cowdenbeath in the east, Aberdeen and Skiach in the north, and supplies many more.