Culina Group companies Fowler Welch and Great Bear Distribution fought against “challenging market conditions” last year to increase both revenue and pre-tax profits.

Latest financial results, for the year ending 31 December 2022, showed that chilled food supply chain business Fowler Welch increased turnover by 23% during the period to £201m, from £163m in 2021.

Pre-tax profit increased from £4.6m to £12.4m, although the business pointed out that almost £2.7m of this was an exceptional profit from the disposal of joint venture Integrated Services Solutions.

Great Bear Vehicle

Source: Culina

In February 2022, Fowler Welch acquired Robert Burns Logistics, in order to boost its presence in the fresh logistics market.

It said this purchase had allowed it to increase its scale and expertise in the sector, which had accelerated growth.

Meanwhile, fellow Culina subsidiary Great Bear Distribution saw revenues and profits soar in 2022; turnover increased at the UK ambient 3PL by 16.4% to £399m and pre-tax profit more than doubled to £42m, compared to £17.7m in 2021.

In late 2022, the decision was taken to transfer the warehousing activity of group undertaking Eddie Stobart over to Great Bear and the firm said this had allowed it to expand its storage portfolio, which would help with further growth.

“The company is well funded and financially robust, so the directors are confident the company is well placed to meet the challenges of the ongoing economic climate and market conditions,” it said.

Culina Group itself reported a 37.8% increase in pre-tax profit, to £5.7m in 2022. Turnover increased by 43% to £88.3m, which it attributed mainly to increased recharges following the acquisition of Stobart umbrella company Greenwhitestar Acquisitions in July 2021.