LOGISTICS firm Wincanton blamed lower fuel prices and retailers’ restructuring plans for its poor revenue performance in the year to 31 March.
Group revenues were up by just 0.9 per cent to £1.1bn, and the company said: “A strong performance on new business wins and renewals was partly offset by the impact of certain site closures as retailers reshaped their distribution networks and also the impact of lower fuel prices as fuel is largely a pass through cost to Wincanton.”
Profit before tax tumbled from £34.9m in 2014 to £24.9m, although underlying pre-tax profit grew by 22.7 per cent from £25.6m to £31.4m. Net debt was reduced by 11.2 per cent, to £57.6m.
Wincanton boss Eric Born said the growth in revenue and lessened debt was “attributable to continued operational excellence, delivering value added services and our focus on close customer relationships”.
Analysts at Numis noted that operational issues at Pullman Fleet Services have been a drag on group earnings, but said this did not detract form the “long term equity story”.
In its outlook for this year, Wincanton said it is placing increased emphasis on winning new business, as well as returning the Pullman business to profitability.
Shares in the company were down by 0.44 per cent yesterday.