Yodel Sprinter (2)

Yodel has made its largest ever loss in the year to 30 June 2018, newly published accounts reveal.

Formed from the merger of the Home Delivery Network (HDNL) and DHL’s Express Delivery business in 2010, profitability has eluded Yodel ever since. Its best result to date was a loss of £45.4m in 2014.

However, for 2018 Yodel revealed its pre-tax loss had ballooned by more than a third year-on-year to £111.8m (2017: loss of £82.5m).

Previous to this, the parcel carrier’s largest annual loss had been £98.4m in 2013, the first year it reported its results at Companies House as Yodel.

Yodel’s turnover in the year was 1.6% lower at £403.4m (2017: £409.8m).

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In the strategic report to the accounts director Philip Peters labelled the performance as “disappointing”.

He said a volume shortfall caused by client losses that was only partially offset by new business had led to the deterioration. He added that “this trend has now been reversed”.

The company recorded £45.5m in exceptional costs in the period (2017: £39.2m).

This included £14.5m for reorganisation and restructuring as well as goodwill and intangible asset impairments to do with the company’s creation, subsequent merger and purchases since.

Peters added in the statement to the accounts that there had been tangible improvements in service at Yodel during the past year as measured by Trustpilot, which was boosting both retention and its ability to win new clients.

He said that the company remained focused on expanding within the click and collect sector, aided by Collect+ which it co-owns; and a major upgrade to its IT systems and infrastructure was progressing.

John Hughes, former senior partner at KPMG, came on board as executive chairman of the group in October 2018 too.

Andrew Peeler, CEO of Yodel, said of this: “John is a former senior partner with KPMG with extensive sector experience. Under John’s direction we have intensified the review of the business, resulting in a rejuvenated leadership team.

"The invigorated team is aligned and focused on delivering the strategy, and the business is experiencing success with continually improving service reputation, volume growth and early signs of improved cost performance.”

Despite these changes, Peters conceded in his statement to the accounts that “the directors expect that the Yodel financial result for the year ending June 2019 will again be challenging”.