Skip to content
Home » Devon Transport Firm Sees Profits Rise Despite ‘challenging Year’

Devon Transport Firm Sees Profits Rise Despite ‘challenging Year’

Gregory Group, one of the UK’s largest transport businesses, has reported a rise in profit despite a “challenging year” of driver shortages and inflated fuel costs.

The Devon-headquartered logistics firm consists of four haulage brands Gregory Distribution, Hayton Coulthard, Pollocks and ARR Craib, which together employ more than 3,000 staff across 40 UK sites, and operate a fleet of more than 1,000 vehicles.

In documents filed on Companies House, the group recorded a pre-tax profit of £12.4m for the 12 months to October 2022, up from £11.3m for the same period a year earlier. Turnover rose by almost a quarter to £335.6m from £273.4m in 2021.

Bosses at the 100-year-old firm, whose services range from parcel deliveries to milk collection, said the firm had “significantly” increased driver pay to address a national shortage, while investing to train up hundreds of new apprentices.

The board noted the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during the period, including record high fuel prices. The firm said while it had passed these heightened costs on to customers there was time lag before they had been able to do so, impacting profitability.

The company said its milk collection business was hit by lower production volumes, as farmers themselves felt the pressure of rising fuel, fertiliser and feed prices. It added that the war in Ukraine had also impacted it, as diesel prices levels “rapidly reached new highs”.

The board added that the cost of living crisis dampened demand in the second half of the financial year, leading it to reduce the number of vehicles it was running and scale back on recruitment.

Despite these challenges, Gregory said a number of its dedicated contracts had “performed well”, while the integration of Scottish haulier Pollock had also driven improvements in profitability and margin.

During the year the group grew its warehousing footprint by leasing a 160,000 sq ft facility in Bristol and expanded its freehold site in Plymouth. Gregory added that since the reported period it had finalised plans to add a further 250,000 sq ft to its Bristol and Scotland operations.

In its strategic report the board of directors said: “Overall, despite a challenging year, the business continued to grow organically with new and existing customers, and with the impact of acquisitions made in 2021. Revenue has also been positively impacted by the higher diesel prices and recovery of costs from our customers.”

Looking ahead, the company said while it was anticipating “difficult economic conditions” this year, there were “plenty of opportunities in the pipeline”. Earlier this year the business secured a multimillion-pound package of funding to support its growth plans.

Like this story? Why not sign up to get the latest South West business news straight to your inbox.

Story Saved

You can find this story in My Bookmarks.Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right.