A turn-round strategy introduced at Aspray Transport last year led to the next day carrier spending almost £400,000 to tackle a "highly challenging" environment resulting in the firm recording a loss.

For the year ending 30 June 2017, the company, which trades as Aspray24, reported turnover fall of £32.4m (2016: £49m but an 18 month period). It made a pre-tax loss of £378, 754 (2016: profit of £778, 711. !8 month period).

However, in its latest set of financial results it said it had invested heavily in its infrastructure and information technology against a backdrop of “increasing cost pressures due to the highly challenging driver shortages, agency use, congestion and other factors”.

This led to reported exceptional items during the period of £386,922, made up of costs relating to staff termination and recruitment, IT equipment and financing.

If the exceptional items are stripped out the company would have made a profit £8,168.

Aspray Transport said 2017 had been a challenge due to “the Brexit decisions and results of the general election impacting the UK generally with customers experiencing flat or down trading and the continued impact of the Driver CPC and resulting driver supply and demand implications”.

The report said: “We have been focused on a turn round strategy throughout the year – reflected in the exceptional costs relating to staffing and financing – and enter the new financial year with a stable, strengthened management team and financing in place to support the continued business.”

It added that year to date results were encouraging and the pipeline of new sales and growing contracts looked robust.

Aspray Transport director Stuart Laight did not respond to a request to comment.