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North East haulage firm Elddis Transport reported “a solid performance” in its latest financial results, despite tough trading conditions.

Turnover was £26.1m with a £552,647 pre-tax profit for the year ending 31 December 2015.

This was lower than 2014’s £26.9m and £612,735, but MD Nigel Cook said its fuel ratchet rebate scheme accounted for most of the loss, due to falling fuel prices.

He told Motortransport.co.uk: “Obviously, it’s a difficult market, but we are running at the budget planned for this year. [This year’s results] will be much similar to what we did last year.EBITDA was up and we have invested quite a bit.”

The company cited an acute shortage of drivers as one of its main challenges which Cook said was a regional, as well as a seasonal, problem.

“We have an ageing population; unfortunately, there are more drivers dropping out than coming in to the industry.

“We have 10 operating centres now and certain depots can have a problem. We’ve got a good core of drivers. Lancashire’s fine, Yorkshire can be difficult at times, but then it could change.”

In 2015, Elddis Transport helped form the High Cube Network, specialising in high-cube trailer transportation.

Cook said the network remained in its infancy, but it was receiving “a lot of enquiries and we are looking to get the right one nailed down".

“The first year was about getting a good foundation in place to go to market with a complete product,” he added.

“The IT systems are there and we are selling it at the moment, it’s just a matter of time before we announce our first client.”