Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Increased demand for online retail drives bounce-back for haulage firm

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Britain's largest third-party logistics company Wincanton has bounced back to financial health, according to half year results announced today (November 5).

Although profits at the Chippenham-based haulage firm shrank from £26.2 million to £19.1 million in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the firm said that it expected its full year results to be "materially ahead of current market expectations."

Wincanton said that its “resilient” first half performance had been underpinned by 15.7 percent growth in its digital and e-fulfillment division, driven by "increased demand for online retail."

Over the period it has signed a number of partnerships with big name retailers such as Waitrose, Wickes, and the White Company.

Along with its existing partners Asda, Morrisons, and Screwfix, the new deals, said the report, show that the firm is committed to developing into a fully-fledged logistics operator.

"Recovery in construction and energy has been sustained but gradual and we have chosen to exit the containers market," said the report.

"Following the shutdown of our home delivery network for a few weeks in April and May, volumes quickly returned and remain buoyant. The profit impact of Covid-19 has therefore been partly mitigated and a solid foundation created on which positive sales and profit momentum from June onwards has been built."

Chief executive James Wroath noted: “I am greatly encouraged by the new contracts we have secured so far this year to become a key partner for some of Britain’s biggest brands and public bodies, and we continue to see a healthy pipeline of new opportunities coming to market.

"Performance has been resilient in the first half, we expect the good momentum with which we end the period to continue and consequently expect results for current year to be materially ahead of market expectations.”