John Hackling (Transport) saw pre-tax profits rise 41% last year, boosted by its newly opened depot in Swindon and Palletline’s decision to base a new regional hub at the depot during the period.

Reporting its latest annual results for the year to 30 September 2016 the company revealed a rise in turnover to £15.2m (2015: £13.8m) with pre-tax profit up from £737,054 to £1.2m.

John Hackling opened a new depot on the Groundwell Industrial Estate in Swindon in February 2015, as part of wider plans to expand its business into London and the south east via the M4 corridor.

Nine months later Palletline opened its new regional hub at the firm’s depot.

John Hackling’s financial director Stuart Mitchell said the firm’s decision to open the new depot in Swindon had boosted profits by enabling the firm “to take on additional areas for the Palletline business”.

The company, which specialises in distribution, warehousing and storage and is a founding member of Palletline and Hazchem, covers the SN,GL and OX postal codes for Palletline.

Mitchell added: “Palletline’s decision to open a regional hub operation at the depot in October 2015 has also added an additional string of revenue for us.”

Hackling, which operates a fleet of 68 Volvo trucks and around 60 trailers, also owns the majority of the Bourton-on-the-Water Industrial Estate near Cheltenham, where the company has its headquarters.

Mitchell said opening a second depot “also enabled us to become more efficient - by running out of two depots we were able to reduce our empty running costs”.

Looking to the future, he said the company was performing above expectations. “In terms of revenue in the current year we are 4% up on the same time last year. However, rising fuel costs and driver costs may see those margins reduced slightly this year.”

The firm is continuing its HGV driver apprenticeship programme to help ameliorate the effects of the ongoing HGV driver shortage.