Elddis Transport (Consett) boosted turnover by nearly £4m in 2022 despite the fallout from the economic impact of the Ukraine War.

According to its latest financial results for the year to 31 December 2022, revenue leapt by almost £4m to £32.7m (2021: £28.8m) whilst the company’s pre-tax profit fell by £478,000, from £1.1m in 2021 to £683,000 in 2022, partly due to the impact of rising costs but largely due to the previous year’s profits for 2021 having been boosted by a £501,000 windfall from the sale of one of the company’s properties.

Cost of sales rose from £24.9m in 2021 to £28.4m in 2022, whilst administrative expenses went up by over £400,000 to £3.6m (2021: £3.2m).

The County Durham-based family firm specialises in FMCG, general road haulage and warehousing, vehicle maintenance, 3pl account management, and has an approved VOSA ATF facility.

A Palletforce member, Elddis employs around 335 staff and operates a fleet of 160 trucks and 340 trailers.

In the directors’ strategic report to the financial results, the company said: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine had an immediate and significant impact on fuel prices, energy costs and the supply of vehicles, trailers and spare parts,” noting that “bulk fuel prices rose dramatically, with significant weekly and daily variations”.

Other direct costs heavily impacted by the conflict included Adblue, which, the report noted, saw a 400% hike in price.

Despite these challenges the directors remain upbeat, hailing a “solid” performance in 2022, and pointing to the firm’s warehousing volumes, which remained “buoyant” for most of the year at both its Gamston and Consett sites, aided by added value services including pallet sortation and repair, container destuffing and cross docking.

During the year, Elddis also reaped the benefits of its 2021 acquisition and refurbishment of the former GT Engineering site in Consett, which adjoins the company’s headquarters, with the relocation of the local distribution and pallet network operation to the site in 2022 and the addition of further postcodes for the Palletforce network.

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The Newton Aycliffe depot, purchased in December 2020, also became operational in the middle of the year, servicing customers in the Teesside, Darlington and South Durham areas.

Elddis Transport also used 2022 to invest in its fleet, including the purchase of its first fully electric vehicle - a Maxus, curtain sided van with tail-lift.

However the report noted that whilst the firm benefited in the first half of the year from the high residual values on vehicles, due to short supply, the capital costs of vehicles continued to increase.

“Parts supply became an on-going problem in the industry, especially on some major components on trucks and trailers that had previously been sourced from Ukraine,” it added.

The directors hailed the staff as the company’s “greatest assets”, with the report concluding: “The family ethos continues to emanate throughout our business, which is something we remain fiercely proud of.

“This has and continues to allow us to adapt to the ever-changing environment in which we operate, both for today and tomorrow.”

MD Nigel Cook told MT: “Our previous year’s profit was exceptional due to the sale of one of our properties. The actual performance in 2022 was in fact on par with the previous year, when that is taken into account.”

He added that Elddis is seeing steady volumes in 2023 but still suffering the impact of vehicle and parts supply chain delays. “It is still not back to pre-Covid 19 levels,” he added.

“One of the biggest challenges in the next 12 months will be meeting the new Direct Vision Standard requirements, which are still up in the air, making it difficult to invest in equipment – but with a 12 month manufacturer lead time, we need clarity on this as soon as possible,” Cook warned.