Owens Group has reported a strong trading performance for the latest financial year, underpinned by acquisitions, new contracts and the diversified nature of the business.

Pre-tax profit for the period ending 30 June 2021 surged by 132.6% to £6,153,724 while turnover was up 9.3% to £94,954,123.

The Llanelli-based company restructured its senior leadership team in July with MD Huw Owen taking up the new role of group chairman and appointing his eldest son Ian as his successor.

The move came only a month after it acquired Palletforce member Celtic Couriers, which runs a fleet of over 1,000 vehicles, for an undisclosed sum.

The purchase was driven by plans to further expand its services in South Wales and to meet “significant” growth.

To improve fuel efficiency, Owens also announced plans last month to replace 90% of its Carrington, Greater Manchester fleet with Volvo FH 460 Globetrotter tractor units.

The group said the purchase of Manchester-based BTS Haulage back in July 2018 was also continuting to reap dividends.

In a strategic review it said: "The group has good positive cash flow, strong reserves and a wide-ranging customer base that gives the directors confidence that the organistaion is well placed to ride out the current situation and manage any economic and operational challenges that may follow.

"It is really pleasing to see BTS return to consisitent profitability in such a relatively short period of time. The directors have every confidence that BTS turnover and profitability will continue to increase in the year to June 2022 and beyond."

The review also hailed the success of the Celtic Couriers acquisition which it said would continue to be an important addtional route to market which it intends to invest in and grow for the long term.

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The diversified nature of Owens' customer base and its warehousing operation continue to be additional strong points, the review continued, while the group has also secured a number of new contracts during 2021 which are expected to increase profitability.

"The directors remain confident that the group will continue to grow and thrive in the future," it concluded.

"The directors are very pleased with the overall results this year and with the group’s development in recent years.

"Trading conditions have been challenging as a result of uncertain and volatile economic conditions caused by Brexit and Covid affecting general haulage customer demand and the labour market.

"However, the group has continued to successfully implement the initiatives started in 2019 to improve fuel consumption and operational efficiency and overall profitability has been maintained broadly in line with 2018/19.

"The group has successfully mitigated the impact of the pandemic by reducing costs and redirecting resources away from areas of low activity to those that are busiest.

"The directors do not believe there to be any long term-impact [from the pandemic] but recognise these are unprecedented and uncertain times and there could be future risks asscocated with any protracted downturn in the economy."