Clugston Distribution Services' diversification strategy paid dividends last year, with the firm’s focus on expanding its market presence in fuels, bulk foods, ash powders and intermodal work throughout 2013, contributing to its robust financial performance.

For the year ended 31 January 2014, the Scunthorpe-based bulk distribution specialist boosted revenue by 21% to £13.2m from £10.9m, while slashing its pre-tax loss by 64% from £774,000 to £276,000.

As well as strong growth from its market and customer base diversification, Clugston revealed its secondary strategy of regional expansion continued during 2013, with new depots opening in Haydock and Reading, and significant growth at its Billingham hub on Teesside.

Clugston also saw a steady increase in long-term work, with additional volumes awarded on its Interbulk and Wincanton contracts, as well as a new deal won with Peak Oil on its petroleum operation.

As a result of its key contracts expanding, Clugston invested heavily in its fleet during 2013, and has committed to a further £2.15m fleet expenditure programme for 2014.

The company added that its steel and cement markets remain “strategically important” and it would be targeting fleet utilisation in these sectors by expanding weekend and night-shift working opportunities, while its CV maintenance division also saw a “much improved” financial performance.

Clugston Distribution Services head of logistics, David Heath, who joined the company in 2011 and began to implement the firm’s turnaround strategy of exiting low margin work and diversifying into new markets, said during an interview with MT last year: “We need to get back to £14m or £15m a year, where we were five years ago.

"We have a lot of tenders out and it only takes one to land to get us to our target.”