A shortage of drivers, the introduction of Driver CPC and a drive to improve its services saw Aspray Transport’s pre-tax profit fall in the year ended 30 June 2016, despite turnover growth of more than a third.

The operator’s pre-tax profit fell by 22% year-on-year, from £1m to £779,000.

However Aspray’s turnover for the year was £49m; an increase of 36% on 2015’s £36m.

In the strategic report for the year the company, which trades as Aspray24, said that “the effect of introduction the driver CPC was dramatic”, and that it was still experiencing a shortage of drivers.

It added that the National Living Wage, and future increases of it, will drive up costs which will have to be passed on to its customers.

Aspray also said its results had been strongly impacted by its decision to not take on new business while it focused on existing clients and improved its service offering.

This, it said, will impact its current financial year, ending 30 June 2017.