Graeme Richardson. MD of transport, Reed Bordall

The Reed Boardall Group has appointed a new MD of transport as part of efforts to get the business back on track after an 80% profits plunge last year.

The Yorkshire-based cold storage and transport firm has appointed former National Holidays director Graeme Richardson to head up the transport division.

Richardson replaces Howard Gill, who left Reed Boardall in December last year to become managing director of Kinship Logistics, part of multi-temperature produce distributor SH Pratt Group.

Richardson’s previous experience includes four years as Tesco’s northern regional transport manager, followed by one year as Tesco’s primary manager of national rail operations. Prior to that, Richardson was regional planning manager with Eddie Stobart for almost five years.

Richardson joins Reed Boardall in turbulent times. In its latest annual results to 31 March 2017, the firm reported a 6.9% fall in turnover to £60.2m (2016: £64.3m) and an 80% plunge in pre-tax profits to £840,646 (2016: £4.2m).

At the time, Reed Boardall attributed the fall to changes in its customer base and a rise in the cost of sales in its transport division.

As MD of transport, Richardson has been tasked with growing the business by winning new customer contracts and driving operational improvements and efficiencies.

Reed Boardall’s transport division operates a fleet of 170 vehicles which distributes around 12,000 pallets of frozen food a day from UK and European manufacturers to a range of customers including major supermarkets.

Marcus Boardall, deputy chief executive, said: “With his strong track record in transport and experience of working within the retail sector, Graeme will bring fresh insight to our transport operation.

“He will be focusing on finding new opportunities and helping us to be even better at what we do. Working alongside Andrew Baldwin, managing director of our cold storage division, we have a great team in place to take the business forward.”

Richardson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to move back into transport and to work for one of the leading refrigerated logistics companies in the UK. I’m really looking forward to being part of a family business where I can make a real difference.

“Reed Boardall offers a unique proposition. With 25 years of experience behind it, it has evolved to meet customers’ changing needs and provide a reliable, integrated cold storage and transport solution. Despite turbulence in the sector, it has remained steady and I believe we have a great opportunity to build on our position of strength.”