Turners (Soham) saw pre-tax profit and turnover increase last year due to rising fruit and vegetable volumes.

Pre-tax profit rose 11% to £24.8m in the period between 4 January 2015 and 2 January 2016, up from £22.3m the previous year.

Turnover increased to £247m from £238m, with the biggest contribution coming from its general haulage operation, which saw turnover grow to £62m from £50m. Turnover in its temperature controlled division was flat at £109m and revenue from its tanker division fell to £76m from £79m.

In its financial report for the period the Suffolk-based operator said that despite the haulage industry continuing to be competitive during the last year, business had been boosted by an improvement in the general economic climate.

Turners, which employed 2,459 staff and 1,203 trucks during the year, also stressed its continued focus on controlling costs and increasing efficiency.

“In the marginally improving climate we believe the group is well placed to meet its challenges and to continue its successful development in the future,” the report said.

The company said it hopes to create a significant competitor to Maritime Transport following its acquisition of Macintyre Transport and Goldstar Transport earlier this year.

“The integration has gone very well. I’m very happy with it,” said MD Paul Day. “There will be more acquisition opportunities as we go along.”

Day said 2016 trading had “continued the same progress”. He noticed a brief economic wobble post-Brexit but this has now returned to normal.

“There will be an impact but it is impossible to predict what it will be. I will just carry on running my business in the same way," he added.

by David Craik