Grocontinental truck

A double-digit rise in income from its expanding warehousing operation helped food logistics service provider Grocontinental achieve a 6% increase in turnover in the year to 31 October 2014.

The Whitchurch, Shropshire-based firm generated a total of £31.8m during the year (2013: £30m), of which £16.4m came from its multi-temperature warehousing operation and sundry sales – up £2m (12.9%) on the previous year.

Turnover from the firm’s 58 truck and 120 trailer transport operation, however, fell slightly from £15.5m to £15.4m. Overall, pre-tax profit came to almost £2.3m in the year, up 7% on 2013.

Joint MD Linda Grocott told MT the growth in revenue resulted from the opening in July last year of a new £6.5m, 22,000 pallet position chilled warehouse at Whitchurch, which raised overall storage capacity there to 143,000 pallet positions.

“Completion of the new chilled chamber helped increase capacity and subsequent utilisation of that chamber fed through into the revenue line,” she said.

Despite the extra capacity, Grocontinental’s warehouse utilisation rose during the year from 85% to 94%. “Although we increased capacity we still managed to end the year with warehouse utilisation ahead of the previous year end. We view this as very positive,” said Grocott.

Looking to the current year, Grocontinental’s directors said the business environment it operated in continued to be “challenging”.

The firm has entered the current financial year “in a good position”, said Grocott.

“But we are not complacent about the demands of our customers. We are also aware of the increased cost base our larger site requires,” she added.