Family-run John Jempson & Son added more than £1m to its turnover last year, thanks to a buoyant construction market in London.

The Rye, East Sussex haulier and Palletforce member reported a turnover of £13.8m for the year ending 31 October 2017, up 8% on 2016’s £12.7m.

Pre-tax profit also increased to £392,000, from £333,000 the year before.

Chairman Jonathan Jempson told MT that the increase could be attributed to the building materials it transports.

“It’s been a busy year,” he said. “London particularly was very busy, with goods going into the city because there’s so much building going on there.”

However, Jempson added that driver recruitment continued to be a pressing concern:

“We are restricted by the availability of drivers. You can get trucks but it’s become progressively more difficult to become a driver and I think everyone faces the same issues.

“We pay quite a lot of attention to it. We try to look after them and our staff, but there’s a limit to how much you can pay people. Some drivers are better than others but it’s quite difficult to pay more to goods ones and less to bad ones.”

In its financial report, Jempson MD Mark Chamberlain said the company's results were “more than satisfactory given the difficult trading conditions under the current economic climate, and the risks to the company's market share in a highly competitive industry”.