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Aggressive cost control measures helped Palletline ride the initial storm of Covid-19 last year, with reported operating and pre-tax profits significantly up on 2019.

The latest financial results for the pallet network, for the year ending 30 June 2020, showed that it increased turnover by 1% to £150.2m. But pre-tax profit increased from £375,000 in 2019 to £1.1m during the period, with an operating profit of £1.3m - well ahead of the £528,000 reported in the 2018/19 financial year.

In its annual accounts, the company, which is the only pallet network to be owned and controlled by its member companies, said the sector experienced a decrease in the period covered by the report.

The first half of the year was due to Brexit related uncertainty, but “a far greater adverse impact” was caused by the coronavirus in quarter 4: “However, as a result of cost control measures already put in place earlier in the year and the company’s flexible multi-hub operating model allowing it to quickly reduce capacity to meet demand by temporarily closing regional hubs, it was able to minimise much of the financial impact,” it said.

Palletline added that its increase in profitability “reflected for both network services and logistics aggressive cost control measures and the short-term realignment of capacity with demand in quarter 4.

“This was further supported by taking advantage of the government furlough scheme.”

Palletline group MD Graham Leitch said: “These are an excellent set of results and reflect both the strength and support of Palletline’s member companies as well as the enthusiasm and effort of all Palletline group employees.

"These combined will ensure that the group will continue to make significant strides forward in 2020/2021 regardless of the market backdrop.”