Turners (Soham) is continuing on its acquisition drive, despite a “dramatic” slowdown in the economy, MD Paul Day said this week.

Commenting on the company’s latest annual results report for 2021, which revealed a modest rise in revenue and pre-tax profit, Day said: “We are very pleased with the results.

“This year started off encouragingly but there is no question there is a dramatic slowing down in the economy and it is very difficult to predict what will happen and the budgets we set are no longer robust in the current conditions.”

Asked if the company’s acquisition strategy would be impacted, Day said: “We are a long-term player in the market and we are always looking for opportunities,” adding that he is pleased with the performance of the company’s latest acquisitions.

The Newmarket-based company, which employs 3,975 staff and operates a fleet of 2,252 trucks, acquired MKT Logistics and its three subsidiary companies Matthew Kibble Transport, Shakespeare Transport and Fullforce Logistics in July this year and bought a 50% stake in A. Hardwick Haulage in June 2021.

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According to its latest financial results for the year to 1 January 2022, turnover at Turners (Soham) rose by 8% to £505.5m (2020: £465.4m) with pre-tax profit increasing by 2.3% to £61.2m (2020: £59.8m).

All but one of the company’s four divisions saw revenue rise in the year, with only the general haulage division seeing turnover dip to £90m (2020: £111m). The temperature controlled division saw turnover rise to £138m (2020: £129m), whilst the tanker division revenue jumped from £62m to £81m and the container division delivered a rise of £34m to £197m in the period.

In its strategic report to the results the company said that the haulage industry continues to be “highly competitive” with increasing operating costs “putting pressure on operating margins”. The company reported that margin on turnover was 11.7% for the period (2020: 12.2%).

Despite these headwinds the report said the company is “well placed to meet its challenges and to continue the successful development in the future” and concluded that the year’s performance was “satisfactory in the current economic environment”.

The report also revealed that the firm has invested this year in a new cold store and blast freezing facility at its Exning depot in West Suffolk to provide increased capacity for customers.