C Butt Logistics

C Butt left Pall-Ex more than a year ago – just six months after joining – because its first foray into a pallet network failed to live up to its expectations, Motortransport.co.uk has learnt.

The Northamptonshire operator joined Pall-Ex in October 2012, taking on the CV postcode. It had been earmarked to take on the NN postcode the following summer to replace Mainland, which merged with Palletforce member Knights of Old, but it is not known if this happened.

C Butt MD Clive Hodgkinson said the company’s venture into pallets did not take off as hoped because of lower than expected volumes. It is now focusing on increasing its warehousing space, adding 100,000ft² this year and 100,000ft² next year, and wants to boost profit in other areas instead.

A Pall-Ex spokesman said: “We aim to have an open and honest dialogue with every member and address any concerns they have. Inevitably, this also applied to C Butt while it was part of the network.

“We have some exciting opportunities on the horizon and look forward to working alongside all our members on these projects for the benefit of all concerned.”

C Butt’s accounts show a reduced pre-tax loss for the financial year 2011/12 of £274,082 (2010/11: £988,721).

Hodgkinson attributed this to recovering from the insolvency of a major customer the year before, as well as coming out of a pension scheme and dealing with a number of insurance claims relating to previous periods. The firm also exited its Netto contract after the grocery chain was bought by Asda. “We had to focus on cutting back costs last year,” said Hodgkinson.

Turnover fell from £38.7m to £37.4m in the same period.

Hodgkinson said C Butt is trading at a similar level to this time last year. “We have a number of tenders we’re waiting on and expect to hear if we have them within a month,” he said.