Robert Wilcox, Massey & Wilcox

Latest figures from Massey Wilcox show that it increased revenue by 8.3% but profits fell as it struggled to pass on running costs, particularly wages.

For the year ending 31 May 2019, it reported a turnover of £12m, up from £11.1m the year before.

Pre-tax profit reduced by 24% to £638,000, with operating profit falling by 16.4% to £811,000.

MD Robert Wilcox (pictured) said the company had been successful in attracting new business during the period, but less so in being able to pass on the increase in costs associated with running trucks: “The major cost is wages,” he said. “The shortage of drivers only serve to force up pay rates and greater use of the more expensive route of agencies which has had to be absorbed.

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“Fuel costs in practise should be totally recovered through surcharges, but in reality they are not.

“Insurance costs have and are continuing to rise. Truck purchase prices have risen, as has the cost of maintaining them.

“The dealers have the same struggle with finding and keeping skilled technicians as we have with drivers.”

Wilcox added that truck residuals were also “a major worry”.

In its business review, the company said it was well placed in the sector to take advantage of future opportunities and boost turnover and profits, helped in no small part by the respect held for its heritage.