ND Blue Seal

Back in April 2013 Norbert Dentressangle said that its UK business accounted for 32% of its €3.88bn turnover, approximately €1.24bn. It was a 55% rise in turnover for ND’s activity in the UK (its second largest market outside of France) as it felt the significant benefit of a full year of trading from the former TDG.

However, for the same financial year we reported in the Motor Transport Top 100 that ND had a UK turnover of £998,728,000. What gives?

Well ND does not publish results for its operations in the UK as a whole, so the figures have been generated by combining the turnover and pre-tax profit from: Norbert Dentressangle Logistics; Norbert Dentressangle Tankers; Norbert Dentressangle Transport Services and Norbert Dentressangle UK.


It means we excluded ND’s Freight Forwarding activities (ND Overseas) and its Maintenance business (ND Maintenance UK). MT does this for all Top 100 companies where it can reflect turnover exclusively derived from road transport activity. For example we excluded DHL’s £600m a year freight forwarding business from its £3.7bn UK turnover.

2013’s numbers have now been published, and using this methodology, we can confidently state that ND does indeed derive in excess of £1bn of turnover from the UK; £1,033,568,000 to be precise. Not that it didn't before, but Motortransport.co.uk is keen to emphasise numbers related to road transport activity.

We get that figure from ND Logistics (£685.5m of turnover in the year-ending 31 December 2013); ND Transport UK, formerly ND Transport Services (£232.4m); ND Tankers (£78.6m) and ND Services, formerly ND UK (£37.1m).

Let’s apply the same methodology to NDs closest rival in the UK market: Wincanton.

This week Wincanton reported group turnover in the financial year-ending 31 March 2014 of £1,098,000,000. Now, exclude Pullman Fleet Services (£68.6m of turnover) and Records Management (£21.1m of turnover). You get £1,008,300,000.

It’s (only) £25.3m. But by our reckoning – ND now derives more turnover from exclusively road transport based activities than Wincanton does. And we don't think that Wincanton MD Eric Born will mind, the company share price has risen by 88.4% in the past year.

Let's face it, whatever methodology you apply, both had pretty great 2013’s when it came to putting business through the books.