Knights of Old delivered a "strong financial performance" in the year ended 31 May 2016 despite challenging market conditions, according to its annual report.

Group turnover increased by 2% to £49.4m (2015: £48.4m). The strongest contribution came from warehousing, which saw revenue increase more than 30% compared with a flat performance within the firm’s transport operations (up 1% year-on-year).

Knights of Old’s directors said they remained interested in further acquisition opportunities having welcomed Nelson Distribution to its group last year, after the purchases of AE Parker and Mainland Group in recent years.

However, pre-tax profit fell more than a third (36%) from £1.1m to £698,192 in the year as cost pressures began to bite. Increased subbie (up 12% to £8.7m in the period), vehicle (up 1.7% at £9.4m) and trailer costs all weighed on the business.

The board added operating profit had been squeezed during the period primarily as a result of increased property related costs and insurance costs. Despite this, the directors said they had full confidence in the achievement for growth and increased profitability during the current financial year.

Although not reflected in the latest accounts for Knights of Old, it was revealed in January that Nelson Distribution was profitable in its final year of trading before it became part of the Knights of Old Group last year.

The Belper-based business’s accounts recorded a profit for the period 1 April to 31 May 2016 of £462,130.