Bretts Transport said it had taken steps to mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis and was diversifying away from food distribution, after its pre-tax profits reduced last year.

The Cambridgeshire haulier saw turnover increase by 11.6% in the year ending 31 March 2023, to almost £16m compared to £14.3m the year before.

But its pre-tax profit fell from £630,000 to £159,000 during the period.

In a strategic report the company, which operates around 100 trucks out of two bases in Wisbech and Ely, said its gross margin had decreased to 10.3% (12.42%).

“These figures reflect weakness in the demand from supermarket customers arising out of the cost-of-living crisis experienced by the UK during this period,” it said.

“The company has accordingly sought to diversify away from the food sector. The company continues to benefit from the positive impact of steps taken by management to recruit and retain drivers in a competitive environment.

“Fleet modernisation and expansion, with improved pay and conditions for drivers, has grown the business, while reducing the need for agency drivers.”

The haulier recently announced it had invested in 11 new Scanias including a flagship 16-litre 660 S-series, in preparation for anticipated growth as more customers come on board.