Abbey Logistics has reported pre-tax losses of £3.67m for the year to 29 June 2019, after a restated loss of £4.42m in the previous year.

Turnover was down slightly at £62.68m after rising 28% in 2018 due to several contract wins and the acquisition of Armet Logistics in 2017. The company said that an operating loss of £3m before exceptional costs in 2019 “reflects a period of significant transition for the group and was broadly in line with directors and shareholders expectations”.

Bootle-based tanker specialist Abbey – twice MT Haulier of the Year in 2010 and 2014 – was bought by management led by MD Steve Granite from the Lucy family in 2016 with backing from private equity firm NorthEdge Capital. In the year to June 2017, the company made a pre-tax loss of £554,000 on turnover of £55m, the company's first reported loss in 25 years.

To help turn the company around the group has made “significant management changes”, bringing in people with more logistics experience. Former Palletways MD Julian Maturi has joined as chairman, Matthew Male replaced David Thomas as finance director and David Patten is now head of the liquids division.

Following these changes in senior management and a review of underlying trading performance, “some inconsistencies in financial reporting” were revealed and after a “detailed internal review” additional trading costs have been added to 2018 accounts. This led to a restatement of the reported pre-tax loss from £3.6m to £4.4m.

The directors said that “underlying trading volumes had not been materially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic” and that almost 75% of the company’s revenues are derived from the transport of food ingredients in the UK food production supply-chain.