Wincanton is now a “very different organisation” to what it was a few years ago, as the company increased turnover, more-than doubled pre-tax and continued to reduce its net debt in financial year 2013.
The boom in construction activity in the UK also helped push turnover at Wincanton up to £1.098bn for the 12 months ending 31 March, from £1.086bn a year ago. Pre-tax profit rose from £14m to £34.9m, while net debt was reduced to £64.9m from £107.6m.
Speaking to Motortransport.co.uk chief executive Eric Born said that the business was “leaner” and “more efficient” and did not rely on the UK’s economic recovery to help improve its position.
“We have built a platform for growth and we have made sure we have the right people in the business,” he said. “Our results were delivered by more than 15,000 motivated individuals that are the backbone for us. They have won new contracts and delivered for our customers.
Its construction division saw turnover increase by 18.1% year-on-year (from £106.8m to £126.1m) led by increases in domestic house building and an uplift in DIY retail volumes . Containers, FMCG and retail grocery also saw increases in turnover, but general retail and tankers and bulk divisions both fell. The latter was especially hit hard by the loss of contracts in the previous financial year, with turnover falling from £122.9m to £99m.
New business signed and deployed by Wincanton in its contract logistics division in the year included a second convenience distribution centre operations for both Morrisons and J Sainsbury (projects that Born described as being deployed “seamlessly”), transport network operations for Coca Cola and warehouse services for US furniture retailer Williams-Sonoma. It has also extended long-term contracts with WH Smith and Phillips 66.
Contract renewals included a five-year contract with fuel distributor Valero, a two-year contract to provide network transport operations for GSK and a three-year co-packing and container contract with Proctor & Gamble. Third-party maintenance division Pullman Fleet Services also signed a contract to maintain half of Asda’s home shopping fleet.
Born said that the future of Wincanton would be led by organic growth: “We will renew contracts and win new contracts in our existing market segments,” he stressed.