Owens Mercedes Benz 2

Owens (Road Services) saw pre-tax profit rise 14% last year as it invested heavily in its fleet and focused on maintaining a competitive edge.

The operator’s financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2013 revealed that pre-tax profit jumped from £706,782 to £806,503.

Turnover, however, remained broadly flat at £36.2m, despite winning some new contracts in the FMCG sector, including Amazon.com, and receiving steady business from the local steel industry.

The Welsh operator is continuing to focus on reducing cost, particularly fleet miles per gallon, but said it saw a slight decrease in its gross profit margin as a result of continuing to lease vehicles rather than buying them.

However, it said reducing the average age of its tractor fleet to just over three years has helped it improve its level of customer service.

In a statement, the directors also said the company had managed to trade at the same level as it had in 2011-12. This was the period it returned to profit after three consecutive years of losses, despite continuing rate pressure.

Company secretary Robert Williams said: “[It has] generally been another good year with prospects for 2014 equally encouraging.

“Continued investment in the fleet, both vehicles and trailers, has put us in a strong position to keep pace with customer demand and maintain a competitive edge.”

Since the end of the 2012-13 financial year, Owens has bought a former Panasonic manufacturing plant at Baglan, Port Talbot, through its subsidiary ORS Contract Management. It intends to let the building out on a long term lease as another form of income.

The directors also revealed that Owns had received healthy demand for its authorised testing facility (ATF) at its Llangennech site, which opened in March.