S&S Distribution saw a 3.2% decrease in turnover in the financial year ending 31 July 2013, but experienced an upturn in fortunes during the latter half of last year.

The Kent-based Palletline member saw turnover fall to £7.58m from the previous year’s £7.82m.

Pre-tax profit also fell from £175,549 in financial year 2012 to £111,894. That equates to a profit margin for the year of 1.47%, compared to the previous year’s 2.24%.

The company’s annual report states: “The majority of this financial year was still in the period of global austerity, although we started to see signs of an upturn in the last two months."

It also singled out high fuel price spikes, low rates and the "increasing cost of regulation" as part of its growing overheads.

The report shows a decrease in overall staff numbers over the past year, from 122 to 97.

However the company sees better trading conditions ahead.

In its annual accounts statement the directors of S&S said: “Our financial strength, with extremely low debt, will allow us to react and invest to meet demand as the economy returns to growth."

By Emma Shone