Palletforce said investment in capacity, infrastructure and technology helped it deliver record distribution volumes during 2020.

Revenue for the year ending 31 December 2020 increased by £19.5m to £136.6m (2019: £156.1m) and underlying EBITDA was £12.24m (2019: £8.98m) reflecting a margin of 9%.

Pre-tax profit was £11.2m (2019: £7.65m) which represents an operating margin of 8.2% (2019: 4.9%).

The company stressed that the 2019 comparatives are a 15-month trading period from 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2019.

The revenue increase in 2020 was primarily generated by continued growth in UK pallet volumes, driven by increased online commerce and domestic and international trading pre-Brexit.

This was boosted by additional network input from a growing membership and an increase of 5.6% in volumes on a like-for-like 12 month basis.

The company admitted the challenge posed by the pandemic and Brexit put it under "enormous strain" during 2020. However, it said swift and decisive management had mitigated the impact along with the introduction of a range of health and safety measures to keep the business fully operational.

The network handled record volumes in the last six months of the year, and during December successfully delivered over 30% more freight than the same period in 2019.

Looking to the future, Palletforce chief executive Adam Leonard (pictured) said: "Caution remains on any future pandemic restrictions and our SuperHub will continue to operate to the highest Covid safety standards.

“Palletforce will continue to deliver on its strategy of sustained and controlled growth, through innovation, technology and leveraging commercial opportunities across the wider EV Cargo global business.

“Volumes during the forthcoming trading period, alongside industry-wide challenges such as the supply of HGV drivers, will see Palletforce focusing on value over volume, which will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the business.

“Like the entire logistics sector, Palletforce expects international trading post-Brexit to decrease but we continue to lead the sector with our international services to many European countries."