C Butt Logistics

C Butt is seeing an “important turnaround” in its fortunes this year after winning new business and expanding existing partnerships, according to joint MD Jonathan Butt.

Butt became joint MD with brother Robert in May 2016 at the Northamptonshire haulage and warehousing firm, after former MD Clive Hodgkinson retired in March, and operations director Karl Hodgkinson left in May.

He said that while the company’s latest annual results to 29 April 2017 “were difficult to take”, they did not indicate the company’s current direction of travel.

The company’s latest results reveal a 30% rise in pre-tax loss to £461,654 (2016: £355,761), with turnover falling 18% in the same period to £11.2m (2016: £13.7m).

Butt told MT: “Whilst 2016–17 results were difficult to take, they do include some legacy issues of the change in structure and costs of the strategy shift. However, 2017-2018 has seen an important turn around in C Butt’s P&L and performance.”

Butt said the turnaround followed a change in strategy introduced by the joint MDs in May 2016. This included “reviewing all customers in line with bringing the family ethos back to the business and re-focusing on Northamptonshire and strategic areas of business".

“This has included moving towards BRC accreditation, a new shared user warehouse in Northampton and strengthening partnerships around the country to bring value and service to its distribution,” he said.

Butt pointed to a growth in business as evidence of the strategy’s success. “New business with Woodway Packaging based in Earls Barton, an important growing partnership with Fowler Welch within its ambient distribution, and extensions to key contracts with Kenwood Delonghi Group and Sealed Air are all assisting C Butt to move back towards the operational profit it is hoped for in 2018 -2019.”

He added: “Whilst performance for 2017-18 is expected to be a loss, the current trading position is much improved upon previous years, and an expected turnaround towards a break-even result will be a key success for the new partnership and workforce.”

Butt attributed the firm’s improved performance this financial year to its current management team. “Whilst there have been no further additions to the board, C Butt has a committed and long-term management structure that has allowed the current good performance to come from within.”

The joint MDs are also considering expanding the firm’s business as it continues to recover.

“With the now stable platform for 2018, additions to warehousing sites, distribution outlook and possible strategic location acquisitions are not being ruled out,” Butt said.

The company, which holds O-licences for over 90 vehicles, operates from depots in Northampton, Lutterworth and Lesmahagow in Scotland.