Annual profits at Wincanton, the Chippenham-based logistics group, accelerated by more than a fifth to £25.6m in the year to the end of March as its cost reduction measures began to take effect.
Sales in contract logistics were up slightly to £930.1m. Wincanton saw strong growth in construction with sales up from £106.8m in 2013 to £126.1m last year reflecting growth in the market. Revenue in the retail grocery operations rose to £243.7m from £236.4m. However, general retail was down slightly at £230.5m.
Chief executive Eric Born said: “We are very pleased to report continued good progress against our strategy in the year with underlying operating profit growth of 6%, underlying EPS growth of 25% and a second year of clean trading results.
“Our supply chain, logistics expertise and reputation for the delivery of operational excellence has enabled the group to achieve a strong stream of contract renewals and new business wins during the year.
“We have also made significant progress in reducing net debt during the year as well as taking the necessary steps to limit future pension risk by closing the defined benefit pension scheme to future accrual.”