Profits increased at removals firm Pickfords Move Management last year, but the impact of Covid-19 knocked almost a fifth off its turnover.

Latest financial results for the year ending 30 September 2020 showed that the company increased pre-tax profit by 37% to £2.1m, but revenue reduced by 19.6% to £47.3m.

Gross profit fell to £11.7m compared to £14.3m in 2019.

In a statement signed off by the board, Pickfords said: “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the company’s results during the year.

“The company was unable to trade for a month of the year, but was helped by the government coronavirus job retention scheme, which generated £1.7m income.

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“As a result of the measures taken by the company, and the effect on the wider economy due to government imposed measures to control the virus during March 2020, there was an effect on the group’s profitability.”

It added that the balance sheet showed a strong position at the year end, with net assets of £5.5m.

The company added: “The company operates in an industry that is highly influenced by the UK housing market and specifically the number of UK house sales and this marketplace is competitive.

“The company also operates in an industry that is influenced by the number of international moves of personnel by the corporate and public sector marketplace.

“There are current issues faced by most businesses as the governments around the world navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic and there remains uncertainty owing to both the Covid-19 pandemic and the Brexit process.”

Pickfords added that the economic risks were mitigated by its diverse customer base and also the barriers to entry, including appropriate warehousing facilities and an international network of agents.