Fowler Welch is on course to achieve a stronger set of financial figures this year than last, the chief executive of its parent company has told

Dart Group's Philip Meeson said despite tough prevailing economic conditions, Fowler Welch continues to grow its business and prove that its service levels are attractive to customers.

“We’re gaining more business and we’re very satisfied with the progress that is being made and the support we get from our customers,” said Meeson. “The current year is going to be a better one than last year.”

Nick Hay, Fowler Welch MD, added that business continued to grow at the firm’s 500,000ft² hub for ambient products at Heywood, near Manchester. “There has been significant growth – we’ve picked up quite a lot of new contracts in the last six months,”  said Hay. “I think the ambient business will probably grow comfortably by 20% in terms of turnover this year.”

Revenues on the chilled side are likely to be broadly flat, however. “In terms of chilled, we’re not seeing any growth, which is really due to price pressure,” he said.

On the transport side, Fowler Welch has invested significantly in new vehicles so far this year, ordering 130 Euro-5 TGX 26.440 XLX tractive units and five Euro-6 vehicles from MAN back in August.

It has also placed orders for a number of refrigerated and ambient trailers from Montracon and SDC.

The firm continues to invest heavily in vehicle telematics, said Hay. “We’ve made some big strides in terms of operational efficiency on the mpg side. We’ve seen about a 6% improvement in the last 12 months in fuel consumption."

Further details of Fowler Welch’s performance in the first half of the year are expected on 22 November when Dart Group announces its interim results.