Freight demand hurts Wincanton

City A.M. Reporter
WAREHOUSE and freight provider Wincanton yesterday reported a two per cent dip in revenue as demand from the UK retail sector continued to remain sluggish.

The company, which caters to clients such as Unilever, Tesco and Marks & Spencer, said sales fell to £542.3m in the six months to the end of September, from £551.2m a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit rose about 28 per cent to £9.7m during the six-month period.

Revenue from the retail sector, which accounts for about 60 per cent of its business, was flat during the period and it did not expect an improvement in the industry this year, chief executive Eric Born said yesterday on a call.

However, the company said it won contracts from Valero and Tilda Rice during the period and expected to continue trading in line with market expectations.

Wincanton, which has been grappling with high levels of debt, said it reduced net debt by about 29 per cent to £87.2m.

Shares in the group closed down 5.6 per cent at 122.75p yesterday.

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