The loss of customer Harvest Energy to Norbert Dentressangle in April 2014, after a competitive tender, has seen Suttons Group report £10.5m of discontinued activities in its UK road haulage business.

In the year-ending 30 April 2014 Sutton and Son (St Helens) – which comprises its UK road tanker operations (Suttons Tankers); UK warehousing (Suttons Distribution) and UK chemical drumming operations (Suttons Drumming) – saw turnover rise from £66.2m to £67m, however accounting for discontinued activities continuing operations had a turnover of £56.6m.

Pre-tax profit in the business rose from £1.58m to £1.85m. Suttons said it saw growth from new and existing customers, but the loss of the Harvest Energy contract “demonstrated the continuing competitive pressures in the market”.

It added that during the year the business replaced a significant number of its vehicles and road tanks representing a considerable investment in the future development of the tankers division.

In September Suttons acquired Imperial Tankers, the former bulk chemicals transport division of Hargreaves for £26.9m. In the financial year ending 31 May 2013 Imperial Tankers achieved a pre-tax profit of £1.5m on a turnover of £29.25m (down slightly from the previous financial year turnover of £31.6m and pre-tax profit of £2.2m).

Sister company Suttons International, which has interests in the USA, the Middle East, Singapore, China and continental Europe, saw turnover rise from £89.4m to £91m, with pre-tax profit up from £5.4m to £7.5m. Parent company Thomas Cradley Holdings saw turnover rise to £156.9m from £154.6m, however that figure does include the £10.5m of discontinued activities. Pre-tax profit in the parent company rose to £7.4m from £5.9m.

Suttons Group CEO John Sutton said:  “It’s been a successful year for the group which has enabled us to invest significantly in both our UK road tanker and international ISO tank container fleets, together with significant IT system improvements across the business. Investment is essential to ensure we continue to provide the highest standards of quality in the markets we operate in and expand the number of services we can provide to our customers.”