Howard Tenens said economic and political factors beyond its control were to blame for its relatively flat growth last year.

Turnover at the distribution and warehousing firm was £107.5m in the year ending 30 September 2023, compared to £106.1m in 2022.

The slight increase was down to its warehousing and storage arm, which saw revenues grow by £2.2m to £35.7m in the period.

There was a slight decline in transport, where turnover reduced by 1.2% to £71.8m.

The company cited energy costs, rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis as factors affecting trading, but it added that despite this it still managed to increase gross profit by more than 2% year on year, recording over 34% in the period.

It said administration expenses had increased due to a five-year anniversary rent review on its warehouse, a cost of energy increase of over 240% and the loss of a client entering liquidation, which resulted in one-off costs.

Howard Tenens added that with operating profit at £4m this represented 3.7% of turnover and was a good improvement year on year.

“The year ahead is proving equally challenging with inflationary pressures continuing to impact on costs of vehicles, fuel, labour and most areas of cost related to warehousing,” it said in a review of its business.

“We see customer volumes reducing, impacted by cost of living pressures in the UK. On a more macro level, the global supply chain continues to operate with significant challenges and uncertainties with the situation around Gaza, shipping being attacked in the Red Sea and the ongoing war in Ukraine – all of which creates negative impacts to our client base.”

In January, the company announced it had acquired a warehouse at Huntworth Business Park, near Bridgwater and close to junction 24 of the M5, in order to expand its business in the South West.