Miniclipper Logistics has reported pre-tax profits were down 22.4% at £796,176 for the year ending 31 May 2020 with turnover dipping by 3.9% to £14,699,129.

However, MD Peter Masters said that although business for the Palletline member had been impacted by the initial lockdown, it has since "bounced back strongly".

"Ultimately it was a strong year," he told "Before Covid we were beating budget. If you’d given me those figures considering what’s happened I’d have snapped your hand off. It could be worse, we could be in retail or hospitality.

"Business in April, and to a lesser extent May, dented things on the transport side. We were still profitable in those months but the turnover took a dip and that hit the bottom line.

"Warehousing was sustained all the way through the initial lockdown and we’re trading really strongly at the moment. We’re well ahead of budget for the first four months of this financial year. Our volumes are 12% up on last year before Covid."

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Masters added that although he was fearful that the new lockdown, due to start this Thursday (5 November) would last longer than the planned end date of 2 December he would not be altering strategy.

"We're not looking to change," he said. "In the first lockdown some of our manufacturing customers closed so there was a reduction in volume and the pallet network sector dropped significantly in April. We’re not expecting that to happen this time round. It’s business as usual.

"But we’re assuming the lockdown is going to last a bit longer than 2 December. We’re going to plan for that."

Masters also gave an upbeat assemsment of the wider transport sector: "We're pushing forward this financial year and so far we’re smashing our budget," he said. "A lot of companies of our ilk are in a similar situation - both the pallet networks and the SME transport, warehouse and logistics businesses. The ones I speak to are doing quite well. But you’re going to get a few casualities, perhaps those supporting retail sectors or the airline business."

However, he said how the Brexit situation would play out next year was less easy to predict.

"We'll just get on with," he said. "We’ve got partners who do that for us so all we’re doing is filling in paperwork. You won’t see Miniclipper trucks on the M20. We’ve got to make sure the documentation is right for our customers that we then pass on to our partners. It’s more of an administration burden than anything else. What happens at Calias or Dover is anyone's guess but luckily we don’t fish in that pond."