Nicholson Group owner David Nicholson says he has no regrets leaving the pallet distribution sector where he maintains margins are too low.

The group’s exit came when its subsidiary Nicholson’s Transport went into liquidation in July last year, leaving debts of £1.7m, of which £354,749 was owed to The Pallet Network.

Nicholson Group, which is based in Billingham, Cleveland, caused further controversy by launching Burnside Distribution from the same premises as Nicholson’s Transport, just days after the subsidiary went under.

Company House records showed that Burnside Distribution was incorporated six weeks before Nicholson Transport’s demise.

Nicholson was speaking to following the recent publication of Nicholson Group’s latest annual results which reveal an exceptional bad debt of £374,291 arising from monies owed by former subsidiaries Nicholson’s Transport and Learning in Logistics, which is also no longer trading.

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The abridged annual results to 31 May 2019 also show the group’s shareholder funds fell from £162,550 to a loss of £140,957 in the period.

Nicholson said he was happy with Nicholson Group’s performance. He added that Burnside Distribution, which he said operates a “handful” of trucks, has done “very well in its first year, targeting the e-commerce fulfilment sector. We are pleased with its progress - the warehouses are full.”

He added that Nicholson Group’s other transport subsidiary Nicholson Hi-ab had felt some of the effects of the pandemic lockdown but was benefitting from the gas sector remaining busy and the revival of the construction sector.

Asked if he was concerned at the impact of the demise of Nicholson’s Transport on creditors, Nicholson said that the majority of the debt was owed to the group and added that since TPN had taken over the bulk of Nicholson’s Transport’s business “it had got more than its fair share".

Nicholson said he had no plans to re-enter the pallet distribution sector as “margins are too low” adding that the purchase of TPN by Eddie Stobart “was the final nail in the coffin for us".