Continued investment of £1m in the commercial vehicle fleet enabled the business to grow its bulk food business by over 25% during the financial year, whilst investment in apprenticeship schemes also ensured the business continued to produce highly-skilled, factory-trained vehicle technicians and fitters, enabling the expansion of its vehicle maintenance and testing services. The recent introduction of a global freight forwarding offering will also increase flexibility and enable the business to grow.
“Despite challenging markets, we have delivered another strong financial performance, with a substantial growth in turnover and improved efficiencies,” said Tim Doggett.
The distribution division’s continued growth comes on the back of a set of recently released Group results, in which Clugston produced a strong financial performance despite challenging markets, recording sales of £176m, its highest to date. However, investment in restructuring the Group, which also has interests in construction, FM and property development, to create the platform for future growth, as well as supply chain challenges in some localised areas, and wider macro-economic factors which led to delays to the commencement of a couple of large contracts, contributed to a small pre-tax loss of £0.5m for the financial year 2017-18.
The Group maintained a strong balance sheet with accumulated cash balances of £30m at the year-end (January 2018), no bank debt, and a strong forward order book.
“Despite the challenging conditions in several of our key markets, which we believe will continue for the foreseeable future, we have delivered another credible financial performance,” commented group chief executive, Bob Vickers.
“With substantial growth in revenue, as well as accumulated cash balances of £30m and no bank debt, we continue to invest for the future and look to further develop our business by investing in our teams and resources across all our divisions.”