FAMILY firm J R Rix & Sons yesterday revealed that it was investing in wind farm workboats to help it reap benefits from the rapid growth of “green” energy systems.
The Hull firm, which started out as ship owners in 1870, has gone on to diversify into sectors including fuel distribution, shipping, cars, caravan manufacturing and property.
In the financial results for the year ended December 31 2013, pre-tax profit increased to £4.2m from £1.7m, while group turnover shrunk slightly to £490.1m from £494.1m.
Rory Clarke, the managing director of Rix Petroleum and a group board member, said the company hoped to add to its 450-strong workforce.
He added: “Last week we took delivery of our fourth wind farm workboat, the Rix Lion, and also announced a second production line at Victory Leisure Homes, our static caravan manufacturing business,”
Mr Clarke said the latest set of filed results included a protracted cold spell.
By contrast, the start to 2014 was “very mild” so in this year to date, the petroleum business has performed less well. He added: “On the other hand, while 2013 was a challenging year for our shipping business, the first half of this year has been much better.
“A substantial part of our turnover is to do with our oil sales, and the reduction in our turnover is a reflection of the decrease in the price of oil, which is good news for our customers. In common with the majority of the motor trade, we have seen an increase in the demand for new cars. We see this as being not only the result of pent up demand, but also a positive reflection of consumer confidence and an improvement in the economy.”