Strong UK performance from Wincanton

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A strong performance in the UK has boosted full year results at Wincanton.
Underlying operating profit rose 8.3 per cent to £45.5 million in the year to 31st March while sales were up 6.8 per cent to £1.93 billion. The UK and Ireland business produced an underlying operating profit of £42m – 11.1 per cent up on last  year while sales were up five per cent.
However, in the Continental business, underlying operating profit of £3.5m was down on last year’s £4.2m. The company said this was significantly below what it believed to represent the profit potential of those businesses.
“Although some of our operations are expected, structurally, to deliver lower margins, we are nonetheless committed to delivering a significant improvement on the sub-one per cent  margin reported on this year’s turnover of £718.6m.”
Chief executive Graeme McFaull said: “It is our objective to increase our margin in Mainland Europe to not less than 2 per cent over the next three years, with further progress anticipated in the longer term. Germany accounts for 68 per cent of our turnover in Mainland Europe, France for 16 per cent, and Poland for a further six per cent. These are the countries in which we have the best developed infrastructures, in which we have been reinforcing our management teams and on which we are focusing our marketing and business development initiatives.”
In the UK, Wincanton had a number of significant contract wins including a five year renewal and extension with Somerfield, a three year non-food warehousing operation for Asda, a new direct import centre for Argos, a new composite distribution centre for Sainsbury’s and a significant expansion of its Comet activities through the award of their transport operations. It was also awarded a second automated warehousing facility for Screwfix.
Wins in the manufacturing and industrial sector included a new primary transport contract for Britvic, a co-packing and manufacturing operation for Nestle Purina and new business with CEMEX UK.
Wincanton has also formed a joint venture with Kerry Logistics, the Hong Kong-based logistics and freight forwarding company, which will allow it to offer full inbound supply chain management services, including warehousing and consolidation services in the markets of origin.

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