BUCCLEUCH have published their group financial statements for the year ending October 31, 2017, and say the results reflect their commitment to rural investment.

The have invested further in principal strategic sectors - commercial property, renewable energy and hospitality and tourism, and also seen significant sales of land and property across rural estates.

Their total comprehensive income was £7.1m, and their profit before tax, £4.8m. Adjusted operational loss before tax before £4.8m.

Group chairman, The Duke of Buccleuch, said: “These results reflect our ongoing strategy of investing across our three principal strategic sectors: commercial property, renewable energy and hospitality and tourism.

“We continue to review our rural assets, in line with our ambition to reduce the overall landholding of Buccleuch. We are committed to balancing economic, environmental and community considerations within our land use decision-making and where the decision is made to sell land or property, the proceeds are largely re-invested in our key strategic sectors.

“These investments will make a significant contribution to economic development in the South of Scotland and create employment opportunities in these local communities.”

The Glenmuckloch Pump Storage Hydro Scheme in Upper Nithsdale, the expansion of tourism and hospitality operations at Dalkeith Country Park and the development of other renewable energy projects remain key priorities for Buccleuch.

Profits before tax reported in the accounts of The MDS Estates Ltd, the parent holding company, amounted to £4.8m. However, this included profits on sale of rural properties of £9m.

Chief executive officer of Buccleuch, John Glen, said: “The adjusted operating loss before tax of £4.8M is a more meaningful representation of the business’s underlying trading performance this year.

“In the last year we have seen positive progress being made across our commercial property, energy and hospitality and tourism sectors; with Buccleuch Property outperforming year on year and a record 250,000 people enjoying the facilities at Dalkeith Country Park, in the last year, where we are now also employing an additional 70 people.

“At the same time as increased investment within the estates, we are also reducing our overall debt levels.

“We continue to invest heavily in rural Scotland and this is at a time when we will approach a post-Brexit policy framework that will present some very real challenges for rural businesses.”