Wincanton increased its underlying operating profit by 2.9 per cent to £24.9m in the first half, whiles sales were up 1.6 per cent at £550.9m.
Chief executive Eric Born highlighted new business wins with Howdens and Halo Foods, as well as contract renewals with General Dynamics, Waitrose wines and spirits, adidas, Total and Britvic.
In the Contract Logistics division, growth was strongest in the FMCG, construction, and retail grocery sectors. Sales slipped back in retail general merchandise, and tanker & bulk businesses.
The division’s underlying operating profit for the period was £20.9m, up 6.1 per cent. It said this reflected its drive to improve operational efficiency and minimise costs together with the impact on mix from the change in the revenue profile.
In the specialist business segment, Wincanton saw growth in the container operations as well as in Pullman the vehicle maintenance and repair specialist.
Debt reduction has been a key task for the group. Born said it had completed a refinancing of the business to extend its debt maturity profile.
Born said: “These results represent another solid half of operational and financial performance. Wincanton continues to focus on contract renewals and contract wins with existing and new customers. We remain committed to further reducing cost and improving asset efficiency for the benefit of our clients and to improve our performance.
“The successful refinancing in the period provides a strong financial platform and we are confident that we remain on track to meet our expectations for the current financial year.”
* Stewart Oades has become as an Independent non-executive director of Wincanton. Oades is currently a non-executive Director of Palmer & Harvey and a non-executive Director of MW Brands.
He was president of the Freight Transport Association from 2009 to 2013, and a non-executive of Clipper Group from 2009 to 2011. He was chief executive of Christian Salvesen from 2005 until 2008.