Arcese UK reported a £2.9m increase in turnover last year, but profit slid further into the red, with the firm making a £939,000 pre-tax loss “due to increasing business costs”.

The Tilbury and Daventry-based logistics and freight forwarding company saw turnover rise to almost £25m for the year ending 31 December 2018, which it attributed primarily to “our larger customer contracts and increased volumes with them”.

Sales increased in both its UK and European activities, by 10.5% and 17% respectively.

However, it was unable to stymie its losses and pre-tax profit fell £831,000 further into the red.

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In its financial report the company said business costs increased “due to a different mix within the business portfolio compared to 2017.

“This resulted in a larger fleet of vehicles being employed and hence higher operating costs.”

It increased its reliance on contractors during the period, resulting in an extra £1m being spent on service costs. “This was due to increased costs for a new customer, Iveco, through the suppliers Pallet and Parcel, FP1 Transport and GreenCres Logistics,” it added.

“The company’s focus in 2019 is to increase market share while keeping a tight control of costs.

“During early 2019, a rate increase has been proposed to one of our largest customers, Case New Holland, of c.£500,000 - £700,000 in revenues, in order to increase profitability and margins.”

The company did not respond to a request for comment.