Hoyer says 2012, and the medium term future, will be a “challenging period” as the bulk liquid giant reported a 6.8% fall in pre-tax profit to £3.5m for the year ending 31 December 2011 (2010: £3.8m).

Turnover for the period also fell, by 3% to £133m (2010: £137.7m) according to results filed at Companies House.

In its air gas business, Hoyer saw turnover reduce by some £3m following the loss of the Air Liquide contract at the end of August 2011. Suttons Group revealed it had won the Air Liquide bulk gas contract at the beginning of the year.

Operations in its chemical business improved further but Hoyer says “there remains more to do to achieve acceptable returns”.

Its foodstuffs and petroleum distribution operations remained stable.

Post 1 January, after the balance sheet had closed, Hoyer sold its trade and assets in chemicals, foodstuffs and air gases bulk transport to another group company. The disposal included its investment in Dennis Dixon Limited and Hoyer Container Rental UK.

Reflecting it’s move away from these areas, the firm changed its name on 1 March to Hoyer Petrolog UK (from Hoyer UK).

Commenting in the directors report, the firm says the UK remains an important market to the Hoyer Group, however it continues to “be concerned about the general economic climate in the UK and the structural changes affecting the UK retail petroleum market”.

The directors report adds: “It is essential in these times of change and uncertainty that we become more agile, efficient, flexible and responsive as we evolve and adapt our business models to the requirements of our marketplace.”