Despite selling a majority share to Rico Logistics in January last year and exiting its Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) early, Circle Express made a loss last year.

Reporting its results for the 17 months to March 2016, Circle Express, which runs more than 300 vehicles across eight airport depots, said it had “faced a challenging start to the period under review, with a downturn in trade, coupled with a significant increase in the fixed cost base of the company”.

This saw it make a pre-tax loss of £95,828 for the 17-month period. This compared with profit of £192,680 in the year ended 31 October 2014. Annual turnover in the 17-month period to £39m compared with £28.8m in the year ended 31 October 2014.

The directors’ report added that Rico Logistic’s purchase of 85% of the Slough-based company in January last year had allowed it to “move into a state of satisfactory recovery”.

Rico Logistics’ latest results state that it purchased its stake in Circle Express, for the sum of £1, with the intention of growing its UK presence in final mile solutions and distribution networks.

This was aided by the company’s early exit from its CVA in December 2015, after submitting a revised proposal offering a full and final settlement.

Circle Express had been trading through a CVA since May 2012.

Despite Circle Express’ losses the directors’ report concluded that “whilst the financial position of the company has deteriorated during the period it is now in a state of satisfactory recovery and improved profitability”.

It added that the company “now had the structure and capacity that will foster growth over the coming year” and would continue to focus on cutting costs at the firm.

Rico’s acquisition also saw a change in leadership at Circle Express, with the resignation of four directors last January including MD Tom Ryan and the appointment of Rico Logistics MD Sanjive Sharma and Michael Prosser as company directors.

Circle Express CEO Chris Coffey stepped down from his role at this time.

Rico Logistics operates primarily as a same-day courier and is part of the TVL Group.

Circle Express was not available for comment as this article was published.