Wincanton focuses on ‘transformational’ businesses

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Wincanton is investing to create substantial new capacity in the foodservice sector following a major contract win with “one of the fastest growing foodservice companies”.

Foodservice is one of a number of sectors which it has identified as having a “potentially transformational impact” on its business.

The company has just released its interim management statement for the three months to 21st January and said: “Although our markets remain challenging, we continue to expect to report full year pre-tax profit in line with management expectations.”

It has identified defence as another growth sector, and said that a major contract renewal with AgustaWestland, significant growth in activities with BAE Systems and a new win with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance “provide further encouragement that this is another sector which offers major development opportunities for Wincanton”.

In home delivery it said that it had implemented a step change in the operational performance and service levels of Marks & Spencer’s home delivery business – a major contract win in the first half.

“First half losses in the now closed shared user home delivery network have been eliminated.”

Wincanton has also been expanding its business in container transport but said that container volumes have yet to recover to pre-recession levels, and had recently been badly affected by port closures due to adverse weather conditions.

“We are continuing, with a longer-term perspective, to add new business from Wincanton’s existing manufacturing and retail customers.”

Volumes were also subdued in construction but “new business wins with customers such as Cemex and Speedy Hire, and a healthy pipeline of further development opportunities, confirm our ability to gain market share in the sector, increasing the potential upside for Wincanton as we head towards 2011 and our customers’ expectations of market recovery.”

On the continent, Wincanton is still in the process of restructuring its German road network and the planned headcount reductions and site closures were on track for completion by the end of the current financial year.

It has also reported a contract win to manage  Porsche’s, Pan-European inbound supply chain into manufacturing plants in Leipzig and Stuttgart.

Graeme McFaull, Wincanton Chief Executive, said: “Wincanton generated strong profit and dividend growth for shareholders pre-recession and is delivering a resilient performance through the recession. We look to the future with confidence given the recovery and growth prospects of our increasingly diversified portfolio of services.”

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