Wincanton shares motor ahead after reassuring trading update

Marion Dakers
SHARES in logistics firm Wincanton led the FTSE all-share index yesterday, soaring by 20 per cent after its latest trading update assured investors it will meet market expectations.

The firm said its contract logistics business is performing robustly with several new wins and extensions, including a convenience store distribution centre for supermarket Morrisons.

Wincanton’s defence business has also traded well this year, and there is “potential to expand our relationships with existing blue chip customers”, the firm said in its update.

However, the company’s container unit has been dented by lower volumes across the market.

The fragile economic recovery has been particularly tough on transportation companies, which rely on other firms trading and moving goods. Rival firm Stobart Group issued a profit warning in January.

“Today’s [update] should steady some nerves, after the free fall in the share price in recent months, with what could be described as a ‘boring statement’,” said Investec analyst John Lawson, who expects the firm to post annual pre-tax profits of £28.5m on 13 June.

The firm’s shares have fallen almost 40 per cent since the start of the year.

Wincanton shares closed up 9p on the day, reaching 54p.