A sting in the tail from the disposal of System Group, coupled with client departures, contract delays and restructuring at its distribution business, saw losses widen at Bibby Supply Chain Services last year.

For the year ended 31 December 2015, Bibby Supply Chain Services made a pre-tax loss of £6.2m compared with a loss of £3.6m a year earlier.

This was, in part, due to the sale of System Group to Bridgewater Human Capital on 31 January 2015. The disposal led to a £1.2m exceptional loss.

However, the directors’ report said 2015 was a challenging year regardless, with significant organisational costs throughout the business and at board level, and turnover down 7% year-on-year to £225.9m (2014: £242.3m).

Supply Chain’s transport operation Bibby Distribution lost customers during 2015, and several contracts were delayed (and commenced in the first quarter of 2016 instead). There were property relocation costs, and the introduction of a new transport management system within the business to contend with, too.

Management changes at the business saw Oliever Hecht replace Paul Kavanagh, who left at the end of 2014 to run R Swain & Sons, as MD at Bibby Distribution during 2015. It also saw Mike Brown, group portfolio director for supply chain’s parent-company Bibby Line Group, take on the responsibilities previously held by departed supply chain MD Iain Speak.

Bibby Supply Chain Services also said goodbye to director Paul Cullingford who resigned from his director role in June.

However, “major improvement plans are now in place in Bibby Distribution following a comprehensive review of the business in 2015”, the directors stated  in the accounts.

This has included a focus on procurement, transport optimisation and winning new contracts, which will be “revenue and profit generating in 2016 and beyond”.

The business remains on the hunt for investment opportunities too, with the directors stating a desire to grow both organically and through acquisition “in existing and related new business areas”.

Since the year’s end, Bibby Distribution has opened a new 280,000ft² flagship depot in Wakefield, expanded its Roberts Bakery deal and renewed a storage and distribution contract with Branston Pickle manufacturer Mizkan Euro.