Mining, renewables and property giant the Banks Group boosted operating profit by 73% in the year ended September 30, 2013 after a strong year across all three divisions.
New financial statements show the Durham-headquartered business grew total operating profit from £6.55m to £11.3m during the period, while turnover also soared 41%, going from £68.9m to £97.4m.
The figures were posted in the firm’s latest annual accounts, which detailed much progress in coal, property and renewables, despite challenging prevailing market conditions.
The firm, which now employs more than 420 people in Scotland and the North of England, welcomed the figures which it said was a strong trading performance.
Richard Dunkley, group financial director at the Banks Group, said: “As a family-owned North East business, we are proud that our North East mining operations contribute more than £35m to the regional economy every year through wages, investments and the local supply chain, and with more than 200 of our staff working at our Shotton and Brenkley Lane sites, we are one of Northumberland’s largest private-sector employers.
“Coal remains a central part of the company’s medium/long-term commercial strategy, with plans progressing to increase production at our two North East surface mines, and investigations ongoing into further possible sites in the region.”
Coal production totalled 1.4 million tonnes from the company’s three operational sites and it also increased onshore wind farm capacity from 14 MW and two wind farms to 46 MW from four operational wind farms.
Significant improvement was also seen in trading activity levels from the property development portfolio and electricity generation commenced at the Armistead and Penny Hill Wind Farms, in March and June respectively.
In addition, Banks Renewables has secured planning permission for onshore wind farms with a capacity totalling 64MW, and has made planning applications for sites with a capacity totalling 247 MW.
Dunkley said: “The overall future of the group looks very positive, and our developments and operations will continue in line with our long-standing ‘development with care’ approach which remains at the heart of everything we do.”
The firm has also provided £2.6m of investment for community improvement projects through the Banks Community Fund and has established a community endowment fund of £1m.
Dunkley added: “we expect to be able to do even more in the coming 12 months.”