Trading at the transport operations at Welch’s Transport this year is “progressing well” after a “reasonable performance” in 2012, according to MD Jim Welch.

Despite the contribution of road haulage and warehousing activities at Welch’s Transport falling slightly from £8.8m in 2011 to £8.6m in the 12 months ending 31 December 2012 Welch told that the division “traded consistently profitably, and ahead of 2011”.

Last year it relocated its Cambridge transport depot – which saw it release its existing freehold site for residential development and build on a new greenfield site a few miles away adjacent to the M11 – and Welch said that this, in part managed to “swallow up all the profit” from its transport operations.

Overall turnover at Welch’s Transport, which also includes contributions from its commercial garage and crane hire operations, fell to £12.4m from £13m as it turned a pre-tax profit of £71,819 into a pre-tax loss of £55,966.

Welch said: “We struggled with the motor trade side of the operation with both of our commercial garages losing money. Our Renault truck dealership based in Peterborough relocated early in 2012 into much larger premises and spent all year growing volumes to catch up with its increased overhead base.

“I’m pleased to say that by the end of the year it was back into profit where it has remained. Our Cambridge commercial garage lost its MAN franchise again at the start of the year and we spent all year reducing the cost base and securing additional volume and it’s just about back into profit now.”

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In November 2012 Welch’s revealed it had won a three year extension to its contract with Paperchase - it began working for the stationery, cards and gift-wrap manufacturer in 2007. The deal sees it make collections from the Paperchase’s Thrapston, Northamptonshire DC and deliver to around 120 outlets.

It has also extrended its three-year contract with building materials supplier Ardex, which has seen it take delivery of two Renault Premiums, prepared in Ardex livery to pull newly liveried trailers.