A property revaluation was responsible for scuppering the bottom line at Bradford-based Expect Distribution in the year to the end of November 2012.

It was enough to turn the previous year’s profit before tax of £432,500 into a loss of more than £943,700, despite a 14% rise in turnover from £15.8m to £18.1m.

The revaluation, which yielded a £3.2m drop in the value of the firm’s freehold, was allocated to a £1.5m provision the firm had for it on its balance sheet, with the remainder going onto the profit and loss account, chairman Robert Rushworth told Motortransport.co.uk.

The revaluation largely reflected the purchase of the firm’s Premier Point headquarters four-and-a-half years ago at the height of the property boom, he added.

“The irony of it is that last year, we had our best ever year with profit before exceptional items of £745,964, an increase of 72% on the previous year,” he said.

Describing the results as “a blip”, Rushworth said the current year was already looking much better.

“The indications are that we should at least be getting [profits before tax in the current year of] £400,000-£450,000,” he said.

The rise in turnover during the year was down to “natural growth” and was in line with the pattern of the last few years, said Rushworth.

It takes two

Expect’s new national two-man delivery service, launched in the middle of last year, is progressing well, he added, as is its warehousing business – all three of ambient stores are over 90% full and further expansion is “in the back of our minds”, said Rushworth.

The managed contracts operation, which runs vehicles in other firms’ liveries, is also doing well and likely to be “a big growth area as well”, he said.

Expect increased average staff levels during the year from 169 to 193, including the recruitment of new operations director Nick Hoare.

Previous operations director Neil Rushworth has been promoted to MD, the post formerly held by Robert Rushton. The firm has also taken on a number of drivers, traffic office and finance staff, he said.