Automotive specialist Brit European Transport improved its margins in 2012, despite a slight fall in turnover.

The haulier – which acquired bulk liquids business Tankplus in November 2012 – saw pre-tax proft for the year-ending 31 December 2012 rise to £465,265 from £334,522 in the previous financial year.This represents an pre-tax profit margin increase from 1.37% to almost 2%.

Turnover fell slightly from £24.3m to £23.9m.

MD Graham Lackey said: “We have invested a great deal of time and money in preparing the business for the future in 2012 and we are already seeing some of those innovations in the market in the first half of 2013.”

It also diversified its business in 2012 acquiring shipping firm EEC Shipping and is predicting growth in 2013 from both of its acquisitions, a “major new truck contract” that was won at the end of the reporting year – and that no major contracts are due to expire in 2013.

In January it invested in a fleet of 24 new dual-fuel vehicles to service a contract with long-term customer and construction equipment manufacturer JCB.

“Innovation and creativity is in the DNA of the company and we are striving to use this more and more to provide solutions for our customers to take their businesses forward rather than just offering them the status quo. As a team we are passionate about doing it better for the environment and for efficiency improvements. We believe carbon reduction and cost reduction can and do go hand in hand,” added Lacky.

Parent company Brit European Transport (Holdings) – which incorporates its activities in Belgium – saw turnover rise to £38.1m from £37.8m in the previous year.

The company described it as a “steady year” that was only affected “by the movement in exchange rates and continued pressures on continental transport rates”.