Customers stockpiling for the UK’s original departure date from the EU drove Boughey Distribution to record a leap in turnover and operating profit in the year to 31 May 2019.

In results published today (30 July), Boughey Distribution owner NWF said its food distribution business had high storage levels throughout the period as a result of new customers and customers requiring additional stock in preparation for Brexit, which was originally planned for March.

Turnover increased 18.6% to £47.9m (2018: £40.4m) at the haulier.

Storage overall was at an average of 100,000 pallets (2018: 90,000 pallets), with external warehousing being utilised throughout the year.

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“Significantly, total out loads increased by 8.5% on the prior year reflecting the increased activity of new customers won in the last 18 months”, NWF said in its full-year results presentation.

Boughey Distribution’s headline operating profit more than doubled to £1.8m (2018: £700,000), “reflecting the significant improvements in managing new customers, improving prices and improving operating effectiveness”.

The e-fulfilment business has continued to grow in the year with seven customers now utilising the service.

NWF said of Boughey’s performance: “This has been a year of significant improvement, with new customers won in 2018 and 2019 delivering improved operating effectiveness.

“Demand for our customers' products continues to be stable and the outlook for most product categories handled by the business is resilient.

“The business operates in a competitive supply chain and needs to continually demonstrate the value and service that it provides to food manufacturers and importers.”

NWF Group, which also owns fuels and feed businesses, saw annual turnover increase 9.9% to £671.3m in the period. Pre-tax profit was 10.3% lower at £8.7m.