Fowler Welch saw turnover climb 6% to £178.7m in the year to 31 March, although annual profit was pegged back due to operational inefficiency at certain depots.

Topline growth was driven by two “significant contracts” that commenced mid-way through the financial year, as well as organic growth.

In its results statement, parent company Dart Group said that while Fowler Welch had performed well in the year, varying chilled volume profiles at certain depots led to some operational inefficiency as customer service levels were maintained.

As a consequence, pre-tax profit at Fowler Welch was £4.3m compared with £4.4m a year ago.

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Dart Group highlighted the strong performance of Fowler Welch’s joint venture Integrated Service Solutions, a business now in its fifth year that ripens, grades and packs a variety of stone fruit, berries and exotic fruits in Teynham, Kent.

Integrated Service Solutions is a joint venture with Direct Produce Supplies.

Its Spalding depot in Lincolnshire is the largest chilled site in the Fowler Welch network and following investment to modernise, turnover in the period was up 2.4% with new long-term contracts secured. The Spalding operation now distributes 60,000 pallets a week.

Fowler Welch has made a satisfactory start to the current financial year and the company added that “we are confident of the resilience of both our leisure travel and distribution and logistics businesses”.

  • Fowler Welch has extended its relationship with food manufacturer Quorn to support its roll-out of its first ambient products, which will arrive in supermarkets this month. Christophe Evo, head of logistics at Quorn, said: “The relationship between Quorn and Fowler Welch has developed from being a simple transactional-based collaboration into a close working business relationship over the last 12 years. “The Heywood site [in Greater Manchester] offers a unique solution across the ambient supply chain and this, in combination with its outstanding customer service, makes Fowler Welch the obvious choice in helping Quorn take this exciting next step.”