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Reduced overheads

Highland Spring ‘remains resilient’ after cutting loss

Les Montgomery: protecting employees and ensuring sustainability of the business

Bottled water company Highland Spring Group reduced its losses on continuing activities to £1.7 million for the year to the end of December as it restructured the business on the back of falling sales.

The Blackford-based company said the total loss fell from £2.2m during a “disappointing” 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Cuts in non-essential expenditure and the sale of Speyside Glenlivet, enabled the company to post a £241,000 operating profit on continuing operations in 2020 against £992,000 loss in the previous year.

Group sales volumes dipped by 2.7%. Turnover on continuing activities came in at £87.6m compared to £99.3m in 2019.

The company said the steps taken by the business to improve operational efficiencies and reduce overhead costs through restructuring the group are expected to positively impact on operating profit in 2021.


It said environmental sustainability remains at the heart of all business activities and it will be carbon neutral by the end of 2021. It will achieve its overall target of net zero emissions by 2040.

Les Montgomery, outgoing chief executive, said: “Our focus in the last 12-18 months has been on protecting our employees and ensuring the long- term sustainability of the business. It is great testament to the commitment and dedication of all our staff that they adapted so well and continued to deliver strong performances.

“Despite the challenges of 2020, the business has remained resilient in the face of the pandemic, and we are currently in recruitment mode to ensure we have the rights skills to meet demand as the country moves forward to a different way of life.”

After 36 years with the company Mr Montgomery recently announced his retirement as chief executive and will take up a non-executive position in the New Year. He will be succeeded by joint managing directors, Simon Oldham and Mark Steven.

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