HW Coates saw revenue and profits increase last year thanks to it operating in growing markets, the chemicals haulier said.

Turnover increased by 5.8% to £71.4m and pre-tax profit was £26.2m, compared with £25.8m in 2022.

Operating profit was up almost £740,000 to £23.9m.

The warehousing and distribution firm said it had continued to focus on its core market of packaged chemicals in 2023: “This market has been the long-term focus of the company and it is envisaged that it will continue to be so for many years to come,” it said in its business review.

“The macroeconomic background in which we operate was neutral in 2023. There was very modest economic growth while inflation was elevated. Our markets grew faster than the wider economy while higher prevailing prices for transport and warehousing helped counteract cost pressures.

“There is no certainty that such conditions will continue.”

The company added: “Of factors under our control, we face the risk of loss of customers.

“This would have the effect of reducing sales and so profit. We aim to mitigate this risk by providing a good service and keeping customer accounts under review.”