Rising energy and fuel prices and “significant” costs in launching a new warehouse saw Miniclipper Logistics experience “challenging” times last year, which resulted iin pre-tax profit tumbling by over a third.

The family firm specialises in transport, storage and warehousing, with clients in the the medical, construction, print, retail and food sectors. It is also a member of Palletline, UPN and Hazchem.

It has five sites located in Central Bedfordshire and Staffordshire and operates a 24-hour transport operation from its 4.5 acre distribution centre in Dunstable and has 600,000 sq. ft of warehousing space.

Reporting its latest financial results for the year to 31 May 2023, the company unveiled rising turnover, up by 21% to £23.4m (2022: £19.4m). However pre-tax profit fell in the period by 37% to £1.4m (2022: £2.2m).

Despite the fall in pre-tax profit, the company said in its strategic review to the annual results that the directors were “satisfied with the trend in sustained levels of activity and growth”.

However it also noted that, with energy and fuel price rises, the year had been “challenging,” adding that the company’s decision to invest in its Dunstable transport operations and Billington Road sites had led to “short term inefficiencies” which impacted on gross margins.

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It also revealed that prior to the opening of its 95,000 sq ft Burton-upon-Trent warehouse, in March 2023, “significant pre-operational costs were incurred, such that the profits of the financial year after tax decreased from £1,798,754 in 2022 to £994,396 in 2023.”

On a brighter note the report said that the company had experienced “high demand” for its warehousing and transport services from existing customers and new prospects during the year

It added that the redevelopment and upgrade of its Billington Road site, which is close to completion, will increase capacity to 130,000 sq ft of warehousing space, boosting its service offering to existing and prospective customers.

During the year the company also continued to renew its fleet with orders placed for more than 20 trucks and “several” trailers, with the aim of gradually converting the fleet to owned vehicles, rather than contract hire.

In response to the ongoing driver shortage crisis Miniclipper also launched its Warehouse to Wheels driver training programme.

A request for comment from Miniclipper has yet to receive a response.