Irish haulier Nolan Group is set to buy a Birmingham-based haulier and a supply chain business as it moves to expand its UK footprint, according to director Oliver Nolan.

Both acquisitions will be overseen by the management team of Nolan Group subsidiary John Raymond Transport. The Brigend-based haulier was bought by Nolan Group in September 2016.

Speaking to MT, director Oliver Nolan said: “We are looking at buying a haulage and warehousing business in the Birmingham area and a supply chain business but I cannot disclose the location of that, yet.

“We’re growing our footprint in Britain and for that you need the transport, the sheds and the systems.”

He said the haulage firm would give the group access to smart warehousing whilst the supply chain company offered “customs capabilities, adding that both acquisitions will help the group weather the impact of Brexit.

Nolan said John Raymond Transport, which recently published its latest annual results to 30 June 2018, had made “great progress” since its acquisition in 2016.

Despite a 9% fall in turnover in the period to from £17.4 to £15.8m, the company’s pre-tax profits rose to £109,965 (2017: £89,112).

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Nolan said profits had been hit by the demise of sister company John Raymond (Northwest) in March this year, resulting in an exceptional cost of £265,331.

Nolan said he regretted the purchase John Raymond (Northwest), which Nolan Group bought in September 2017 from TT Express Group and dissolved In March. He declined to detail the problems leading to its demise but said: “That was a learning curve for us.”

He added: “However John Raymond Transport is a success story for us. It has a healthy balance sheet, we’ve put in a lot of investment witha lot more to come, including more new trucks. We have120 trucks and 300 trailers now and the business now owns all its equipment.”

“We’ve also won a number of new contracts since 2016,” Nolan said, adding that the company, which specialises in FMCG, construction products, and packaging, is set to break into the steel transportation sector.

“We’ve also moved to a new site in Brigend with a huge maintenance facility,” Nolan said, adding that he would “not rule out” moving the group’s headquarters from County Wexford, Ireland to Brigend, “since most of our transactions are in the UK.”