Turners’ MD said he has not changed his opinion about buying general haulier Jack Richards & Son, almost two years after snapping up the Norfolk family business.

Paul Day told motortransport.co.uk that he remained optimistic about improving and growing the Fakenham firm following Turners (Soham)’s segue into the general haulage market in 2019.

Asked why it had branched out into the notoriously competitive sector, Day said: “It’s the development of Turners over time.

“We are, in my view, good at operating trucks and knowing the Jack Richards family for a long period of time, I believe it is a good company.

“I haven’t changed my view,” he added. “I feel just the same now as I did when I bought it.”

Day was commenting following the publication of Jack Richards’ financial results for the seven months ending 5 January 2020, which brings it into line with Turners’ accounting period.

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Turnover was £37.4m and pre-tax profit was £463,000.

Day acknowledged that even taking into account the shortened period, the results were “slightly negative”, but they were skewed by the effects of Christmas and New Year: “It’s a very short period of time of seven months, of which four and a half included Turners’ involvement,” he said.

“If you take out the effects of the Christmas and New Year week included in the seven months rather than 12, the performance is slightly down - but only very slightly.”

Day said the company continued to grow during 2020 thanks to its significant involvement in sectors such as food and packaging and its performance was therefore better than expected.

He described the first quarter of 2021 as “OK” and added: “It’s always the weakest, the first quarter, in virtually the whole Turners’ group.

“But trading has been perfectly reasonable.

“My aim is to improve Jack Richards over time and I am optimistic.”