Benton Bros (Transport) said it had to “absorb serious fuel price issues” last year after recording a £28,000 loss for the year ending 30 January 2013. Accounts published at Companies House show that the Lincolnshire haulier’s operating profit also fell, to £88,000 compared with £173,000 the previous year.

However, turnover rose 4% to £13.1m from £12.5m the previous year.

Chairman Martin Benton declined to comment, but the directors' report accompanying the accounts  blamed the cost of fuel, “as well as the effect of the recession".

“The directors feel they have managed these issues well and are well positioned within the industry to service the customers as they come out of recession,” it added.

However, the company said it would continue to expand its client base in Immingham, where it has a licence authorising a total of 60 LGVs out of two depots.

It is also authorised for 55 lorries out of a Boston-based site, and 20 in Grantham.