Fowler Welch saw a fall in pre-tax profit in the year ended 31 March as it undertook work at its Spalding site to create more space and upgrade the warehousing there.

Its 156,000ft² site in Spalding is claimed to be one of the largest chilled food consolidation hubs in the UK and the largest in the operator’s network.

Turnover at the site was 3.5% lower year-on-year as a result of a planned movement of volume to other company sites, which allowed for a £2m spend on white walling, lighting and racking to take place.

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Despite this, turnover increased 7% at the operator’s Teynham and Paddock Wood DCs, primarily thanks to the start of a new contract for the distribution of salads.

However, Integrated Service Solutions, Fowler Welch’s joint venture at Teynham, which ripens, grades and packs fruit, had a tough year with fluctuating volumes. The operator added that with improved cost controls in place, the joint venture’s fourth quarter performance was much improved.

For the full year Fowler Welch’s turnover was 3% higher at £168.6m (2017: £163.5m). Pre-tax profit was 2% lower at £4.4m (£4.5m).