Bibby Supply Chain Services stemmed its losses last year, thanks in part to making a profit on the disposal of assets and investments relating to a contract exit during the period.

For the year ending 31 December 2019, the group’s turnover reduced from £192.4m to £170.2m, but pre-tax losses improved by £2.8m to -£930,000, from -£3.7m in 2018.

The group is made up of Bibby Distribution and an international arm, Bibby International Logistics (BIL).

The group said 2019 was a year of turnaround for Bibby Distribution, which saw the business reduce in size but also managed to reduce operating losses significantly.

Its exit from a transactional milk collection operation saw turnover reduce by 10%, but its trading performance improved from an operating loss of £5.5m to a loss of £500,000 excluding restructure costs.

In its business review, the group said turnaround for Bibby Distribution was achieved through “significant overhead savings as a result of an aggressive rightsizing process” and the strengthening of its operational management team.

It said it had also moved from a regional operating model to a “service based offering with a focus on core competencies”; reduced the fixed cost base of the business operations and exited from milk operations.

BIL’s turnover by 24.8% from the prior year as a result of the loss of a key customer.

Trading was also affected by a £50,000 bad debt charge.

The group said competitive pressures in logistics were a continuing risk and that the full impact of Covid-19 on medium- and long-term economic activity remained unknown.