Speedy Freight’s performance accelerated in the year that Eddie Stobart Logistics bought 50% of the express courier, new accounts show.

Puro Ventures, which trades as Speedy Freight, recorded turnover growth of more than 8% to £18.3m (£2016: £16.9m) in the year to 30 November 2017.

The company is structured around a regional franchisee model, with independent couriers working under the parent company’s patronage with access to its marketing and technology. It does not hold an O-licence itself, according to official records.

Cost of sales, here essentially recognising franchisee turnover (as opposed to network turnover), climbed 8.6% year-on-year to £15m (2016: £13.8m).

Pre-tax profit for the year climbed 14% to £1.6m (2016: £1.4m).

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The company is spending on its IT infrastructure this year, according to the accounts, after a year that saw it sign up 12 new franchisees expanding the network to 46 locations by the reporting period’s end.

“Our continued investment in training and development of both our people and our franchisee family has not only allowed us to manage the existing growth in a controlled and organised manner, but position ourselves for continued sustained future growth,” the directors said in a statement to the accounts.

Eddie Stobart purchased its stake in July 2017 and the purchase of the remaining equity in Speedy Freight is “probable” via the existence of a call and put option, exercisable in the future. The amount payable is dependent on future trading results.