The acquisition of administration-hit Elite Transport Services pushed Deben Transport into the red last year.

The Felixstowe-based container haulier posted a £668,135 pre-tax loss in 2013, its annual accounts to 31 December show. This followed a £63,568 pre-tax profit the year before.

Commercial director Rachael McCall told that the purchase of Elite Transport Services in April 2013 was the main contributing factor to the company’s financial performance during the year.  According to the accounts, Deben acquired Elite out of administration for £385,884.

The accounts published at Companies House also revealed a 15% increase in turnover to £34m (2012: £29.5m), driven by the increase in the size and capability of the business since the acquisition.

“The benefits of this acquisition are now being seen in the second half of 2014,” McCall added. “We anticipate 2015 to be a year of growth off the back of increased volumes and new business wins.”

The trade and assets of the former Elite business have been fully integrated into Deben Transport, which is winning new business and securing more work from existing customers off the back of its increased geographical reach.

As part of a review to identify cost savings, its depot network was streamlined during the year. McCall did not comment on the number of depots closed during the year, or where they were located.