Abbey Logistics Group almost doubled its pre-tax profit in the financial year before its recent sale to Belgium logistics giant Sitra Invest NV, according to its latest annual results.

Reporting its performance for the year to 1 July 2023 the company revealed a 10% rise in turnover to £74.3m (2022: £67.5m), while pre-tax profit leapt to £3m, up from £1.7m in the previous year. 

In its strategic report to the results Abbey Logistics attributed its increased turnover to a combination of factors including a more stable trading environment, compared to the previous year, which had been dogged by driver availability issues and the impact of the war in Ukraine. It added that other positive forces included a close working relationship with a “stable customer base” and winning new work in key strategic areas. 

Abbey also reported strong operating cash flow over the year, with over £4m invested in capital expenditure. 

Turning to its purchase by Belgium firm Sitra Invest NV in November last year, the report said the group is “well placed to take advantage of considerable opportunities for growth in the years to come as part of the wider Sitra Group”.

Sitra Group acquired Abbey Logistics for an undisclosed sum in November last year. The logistics giant employs approximately 1,150 people across 11 countries including the UK and operates a fleet of 700 owned trucks and over 2,000 trailers and containers, including liquid and powder food tankers.

The purchase of Abbey Logistics Group saw Sitra Group add nearly 600 staff and a fleet of 325 trucks and 550 trailers to its operations.

Sitra Group has pledged that Abbey Logistics will continue to operate under its own name and livery and has no plans to make any staff redundant or to close any depots.

Abbey Logistics had been majority-owned by private equity firm NorthEdge Capital since 2016, following a management buyout, led by Steve Granite, former chief executive and current chairman, who has taken on an advisory role at the company following the acquisition.