Reed Boardall has seen “strong demand” for its services during the pandemic and is confident that demand will continue through 2021.

Reporting its annual results to 31 March 2020, the temperature-controlled food storage and distribution company revealed a doubling of profits which laid strong foundations to help it weather the Covid-19 pandemic.

The North Yorkshire-based company saw profits rise to £2m, up from £970,000 in the previous year whilst turnover rose by over 8% to £68.4m (2019: £62.8m).

The company attributed the rise to higher volumes through its cold store and transport operation and rising use of its ancillary blast freezing, picking and packing services.

Turning to the Covid-19 pandemic the company said, in its strategic report to the results, that the nature of its business has meant it had not been adversely affected.

It added: “As such the work carried out by the company has not diminished and we have no reason to think it will because, as a frozen food distributor, the group has seen strong demand for its services since year end and we do not envisage this changing.”

Reed Boardall runs a fleet of 196 vehicles delivering 12,000 pallets of frozen food daily for its clients and employs almost 800 staff at its single site in Boroughbridge, Yorkshire.

It is one of the largest temperature controlled food distribution businesses in the UK, storing and delivering frozen food from manufacturers across Britain, Europe and beyond to all the UK’s major supermarkets.

The company is also currently investing in a major extension to one of four cold stores at its 55-acre site in Boroughbridge, which will increase capacity to 168,000 pallets, when it is completed in March this year.

Marcus Boardall, chief executive of Reed Boardall said: “Changes in consumer shopping habits have led to food companies needing a more responsive logistics partner that is able to reliably consolidate products in order to cost-effectively deliver little and often.

“Our single site business model has proved ideal for this, resulting in a growth in demand for our services and, therefore, the need to extend our facilities.

“2019 was a particularly busy year for us as we continued to support the growth of our customers, and we again put in a solid financial performance, seeing turnover grow.

“Having already decided that the time was right to invest in expanding our cold storage facility at Boroughbridge, we were committed to moving forward with the project, undeterred by the turmoil of the pandemic which put intense pressure on the logistics sector – 2020 was a stark reminder of how important it is to have a robust and responsive supply chain.”

Finance director Sarah Roberts added: “While the company has remained resilient, we have battled tough trading conditions with fierce competition making it difficult to recover costs, particularly in the transport division.

“However, our ongoing focus on operating as efficiently as possible has delivered impressive results and put us on a sound footing for further expansion, despite the uncertainty of the pandemic together with the unknown impact of Brexit."

She added: “Given the current situation, with unprecedented demand from consumers for frozen food, we are prepared for 2021 to be another extremely busy year and would like to thank our hard working and committed team for pulling out all the stops to help our customers keep the supermarket freezers full.”