Wincanton pushes ahead

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Wincanton saw underlying operating profit rise 3.1 per cent to £26.8m in the first half, while sales were up 2.1 per cent to £1.1bn.

Chief executive Graeme McFaull said: “I am pleased with the overall performance in challenging market conditions. Momentum in our new business pipeline is building and we have secured gains in the period across all areas of the Group.

“The core UK & Ireland business demonstrated a robust performance and the new sectors and services have continued to progress well.

“In Mainland Europe progress achieved in our German business following the restructuring is encouraging, but this is offset in the first half by a poor performance in our French business.

“For the current year we expect the Group to continue to trade in line with management expectations. Looking ahead, we face increased pressure

In the UK, sales were up 2.6 per cent to £680.8m and operating profit has increased by 3.3 per cent to £25.2m with a strong performance from the retail sector. However, the manufacturing business saw revenues decrease to £259.1m from £265.1m in 2009.

Wincanton said that new manufacturing business contributed an additional £6.2m with the defence business contributing £5.2m of this increase. However, this was offset by some £12.2m of contract losses together with contract shrinkage.

On the continent, sales were up £5m at £421.5m while underlying operating profit was unchanged at £1.6m. The company has now substantially completed the road network restructuring which was started last year in Germany, and it said the German business had performed well with an improvement in underlying operating profit. “This, however, has been offset by a disappointing performance in Western Europe, especially France.”





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