C Butt Logistics turned a profit in its 2017/18 financial year for the first time since 2014, 12 months ahead of its self-predicted return to the black.

The business suffered a 30% increase to its pre-tax loss in the year ended April 2017 to £461,654 (2016: £355,761).

But joint MD Jonathan Butt told MT in February that the operator was on the up and up again, and predicted it would be turning a profit again come 2019.

Today (23 July) Butt confirmed that for the financial year ended April 2018, the business had shaken its loss-making streak.

He said: “When I spoke to MT earlier in the year, things were moving in the right direction, and we’ve just managed to keep that going. We’re really pleased at the moment, and looking forward to the year ahead.”

Butt and Robert became joint MDs of the family operator in May 2016, following the departure of former MD Clive Hodgkinson and operations director Karl Hodgkinson.

“We’ve had five or six years of negative results and some of them quite heavy. But it’s back in family hands and we have a new strategy.

Part of this has been a refocusing on the local Northamptonshire area. Butt said: “We decided we needed to refocus on the local area as a strategy. When you set off with these things you hope they’re going to work and in this case it has, in dividends.”

Another boost to the business has come from C Butt’s renewed BRC, which has won it new business in the ambient food market; an area in which the business is looking to grow.

“We decided to get the audit off the back of some customers that were working in food, it helps us secure the work. It gives everybody a lot more confidence in regards to our services.

“We have seen business and we are quoting for business off the back of that, now. And that would have been something we wouldn’t have seen without the accreditation,” Butt said.

C Butt’s financial director of five and a half years, Peter Ginn, left the business back in June, but Butt insisted there was nothing "untoward” about his departure.

“It was just a generic change of job,” he told MT, “it happens. There was nothing untoward or cloak and dagger about it, and we wish Peter the very best for the future.”

C Butt's most recent results remain subject to audit.