RT Keedwell Holdings is looking to expand in the South East after pre-tax profit jumped by more than a quarter in 2015 boosted by a strong performance from its regional operations.

Reporting its latest annual results to 31 October 2015, the group, which also includes, Ken Jones Transport (Goldcliff), K&J Logistics, RJ Jones (purchased in 2013), said pre-tax profit had risen 27% £1.9m (2014: £1.5m).

Group turnover fell 15.1% in the period to £50.7m (2014: £58.8m) - although the company said this was largely a consequence of how turnover is reported at the group, after a change in auditor lead to the decision not to include revenue from internal business on the top line.

The group turnover figure includes a contribution of £5.7m from its joint-venture Avon Distribution, but does not include a contribution from its other joint venture, Jays Logistics.

Keedwell said that if the accounting change had not been made, annual turnover on a like-for-like basis for 2015 would have been £65.5m (including a contribution from Jays).

Reasons for growth

The MT Top 100 company, which is based in Highbridge, Somerset, attributed its profit growth in 2015 to a number of key factors, group commercial director Jon White told Motortransport.co.uk.

White said: “Some of the growth is from vehicle efficiencies and our investment in our people as well as our networking efficiencies, which have increased by buying one large depot in Yorkshire and consolidating three small depots in the area in to it.”

White said the company had also seen organic growth through maintaining and extending key existing contracts in the period.

“Part of the growth is also from our regional distribution operations which has preformed very well in Scotland and in the South West of England,” he said.

The group fleet, 540 trucks and 1,280 trailers across 12 locations (including Jays Logistics), is being overhauled with a greater focus on Mercedes Benz Actros trucks, which White said are delivering much greater fuel efficiencies and which are proving popular with the group’s drivers.

RT Keedwell is also looking to expand its operations.

White said: “We have a good geographic spread and we have other areas, including the South East, in our sights. We already have an office there and are currently looking at opening a depot in the area, with two sites under consideration at the moment.”

Accounting change

Following the change in auditor, turnover and cost of sales for the year ended 31 October 2014 have been restated, reducing each figure by £9,128,295. This was, as explained above, after its previous accounts incorrectly included sales and purchases between group companies.

Keedwell said this adjustment had had no impact on the profit or net assets of the group.