Welch’s Transport saw profit fall in a year with an “uncomfortably high” turnover in operational staff, according to the firm’s latest annual results.

The Cambridgeshire haulier’s newly published accounts for the year to 31 December 2016 reveal that whilst turnover rose by 6.3% to £13.4m (2015: £12.6m), pre-tax profit was 4.5% lower at £158,527 (2015: £166,078)

The results show that road haulage and warehousing delivered the lion’s share of the turnover, with the firm’s garage operation, crane hire and furniture sales making up around £2.6m in the period.

The firm's strategic report points to rising fuel prices from a low base at the start of 2016 combined with a shortage of skilled drivers as key influences on the company’s results.

However it added that “it was the office based operational roles that presented the challenge in 2016 with uncomfortably high levels of turnover in this area directly impacting on operational efficiencies”.

On the upside the report added that the firm’s HGV driver and technician apprenticeship programme providing an “increasing proportion” of the company’s workforce.

The company had not responded to a request for comment as this article was published.