Norbert will maintain conservative outlook for 2010

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Norbert Dentressangle achieved a recurring operating profit of 87.9 million euros in 2009, an 11 per cent increase on the previous year.

The logistics arm of the business fared better than the transport division, reporting an increase of 14 per cent in recurring operating profit to 48.7 million euros.

This was achieved through warehouse optimisation, reductions in temporary staff, open book contracts in the UK and by tightly managing resources.

Chief executive officer François Bertreau said: “In the UK, our second largest market outside France, 2009 has been a good year for our logistics business, both in term of activity and profitability. We have also made strong progress in the UK transport business and remain optimistic for the future.”

Despite a bad start to the year, the transport business recovered in the last months of 2009, increasingly recurring operating profit by nine per cent to 39.5 million euros.

The decline in margin from lower sales was offset by a 14 per cent cut in the vehicle fleet, along with the curtailed use of sub-contractors and reduced overheads.

Operating profit before goodwill and goodwill impairment (EBITA) totalled 80.4 million euros, down 18 per cent compared to 2008.

Bertreau added: “For 2010, in the absence of a real economic recovery, we remain watchful so as to maintain our competitive footing, while continuing to launch fruitful initiatives for future growth, such as our recently introduced freight forwarding activity.”

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