RJ MCLEOD, one of Scotland’s biggest civil engineering firms, has increased profits by around 20 per cent in its latest financial year although turnover fell at a similar rate.

The latest accounts for RJ Mcleod, which has offices in Glasgow and Dingwall, show the company made £21.8 million pre tax profit in the year to 29 October compared with £18m in the preceding year. Turnover fell to £135m, from £165.7m.

Writing in the privately-owned group’s accounts directors said trading had benefited from ongoing investment in plant and machinery. The strategy of maintaining an up to date fleet remains unchanged.

The group’s workload is in healthy shape and directors are confident of a positive out turn in this year’s trading.

The group paid and declared £14.2m dividends in the latest year, compared with £4.7m in the preceding period.

The average monthly number of employees fell to 437 from 459.

Firms in sectors such as civil engineering and construction have been benefitting from relatively strong spending on infrastructure projects by the Scottish Government.

Founded by Roderick John Macleod in 1951, the company has worked on project such as the refurbishment of Glasgow’s Bells Bridge and the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme in recent years.