Turners 1

Turners (Soham) experienced a loss of a major contract in its tanker division that led to a slight decline in turnover and profit during its most recent financial year, MD Paul Day said.

Following a move by customer Greenergy to take the delivery of fuel to supermarket group Sainsbury in house in July 2013, the tanker division’s turnover fell about 15%, negating what was otherwise a respectable increase in the firms temperature controlled and general haulage operations. This left overall turnover in the period ending 3 January 2015 down 1.8% at £237.6m (2013: £242.1m) and pre-tax profit down by the same percentage to £22.4m (£22.8m).

Day said the Greenergy move was “a loss of some worth”, adding that the firm had not recovered all of the lost volume during the year. Falling fuel prices during the year had also led to lower transport rates in the tanker division, he said.

Despite the fall in turnover and profit, the company still managed a 9% profit margin, which Day attributed to the firm’s lack of reliance on borrowed money.

Day said Turners had gained work consistently since the end of the last financial period and predicted this year’s turnover would be in the order of £255m.

“The principles of Turners don’t change and we’ve invested money back into the business,” he said. “We’ve expanded our packhouse facilities and our cold stores and are building a new cold store in Boston, which should be operational by August next year.

“There’s nothing fancy about Turners. It’s a solid, straightforward business,” he added.