Simon Gibson Transport saw its pre-tax profit almost halve in 2016 after “heavily” investing in upgrading its fleet during a year of “more difficult” trading conditions.

In its latest annual results to 31 December 2016, the East Yorkshire bulk powder haulier showed a 47% drop in pre-tax profit to £770,030 (2015: £1.4m) after spending £740,232 on improving its fleet.

In the annual results strategic report the company said its fleet investment strategy “is imperative in ensuring the highest standards and impeccable service are constantly achieved", adding that its expansion plans included further expansion plans in 2017.

In March this year, the operator bought 51 new Volvo FH tractor units.

The company said GCA’s acquisition of 75% of the company’s shares in the year had resulted in “a year of transition” that put both parties “in a stronger position to win larger contracts and pool resources". Founder and director Simon Gibson retains a 25% stake in the company.

The company added that the impact of GCA Europe increasing its stake in the company is already bearing fruit in the form of new contracts.

Turnover fell by 2.67% to £12.9m (2015: £13.3m) with UK turnover falling to £12.3m (2015: £12.7m). European turnover fared better in the period, rising to ££539,722 (2015: £465,851).

Looking to the future the company said  it is committed to growing its market share, adding that its strategy “together with the expertise and support of GCA Europe is a solid foundation for continued successful business performance and growth".

The company was unavailable for comment.