Reed Boardall Volvo

Reed Boardall Group has attributed a huge fall in profit in the year to 31 March 2017 to rising costs driven by an “exceptionally busy” Christmas.

Reporting its annual results, the Yorkshire-based cold storage and transport firm saw a 6.9% fall in turnover to £60.2m (2016: £64.3m). Pre-tax profit plunged 80% to £840,646 (2016: £4.2m).

In its strategic report to the annual results, the group said the decrease in turnover was also due to “changes in the customer base compared to the previous year”.

It added that pre-tax profit had been hit by a “slight” drop in volumes across the group but this was largely due to increased costs incurred in maintaining services over an exceptionally busy Christmas in 2016.

However the group reported the award of two “large, high profile customers’ contracts” at the end of the financial year, which will deliver “significant increases in volume".

In a statement, Marcus Boardall, deputy chief executive, said: “There’s no doubt that we are working in a very challenging sector, however, having been in the business for 25 years, we are used to the vagaries of the logistics industry.“

He added that the firm’s business model of a single site providing integrated cold storage and transport services, alongside high customer service levels, “will continue to differentiate us from our competitors”.

Sarah Roberts, Reed Boardall finance director, said: “2017 was an unusual year as we saw volumes temporarily decrease in response to changes in our customer base and we also sought to cope with continued rises in the cost of sales in our transport division, which proved difficult to recover given the competitive environment.

She added: “Volumes for the year ahead have already recovered and we will continue to develop our strong position in the market place based on our extensive knowledge base.”

The family-owned company runs a fleet of 180 vehicles and moves around 12,000 pallets a day, storing approximately £100m worth of products on its customers’ behalf at its site in Boroughbridge, Yorkshire.