FD quits Wincanton as restructuring benefits feed through

The top line was down but underlying half year profits were up at logistics specialist Wincanton, while the contracts pipeline is looking in good shape.

The top line was down but underlying half year profits were up at logistics specialist Wincanton, while the contracts pipeline is looking in good shape.

Revenue from continuing operations in the six months to September 30th fell to £551.2m from £625.5m the year before.

The Contract logistics business chipped in with £465.0m of revenue and £20.1m of underlying operating profit, versus £534.5m and £17.5m, respectively, a year earlier. The division's margin improved substantially from 3.3% at the interim stage in 2011 to 4.3% this time round.

Revenue from the Specialist business eased to £86.2m from £90.9m the year before, while underlying operating profit dipped to £4.2m from £4.8m. The division's margin fell below five per cent, to 4.9% from 5.3% the year before.

Reported profit before tax was £13.0m, versus a loss of £13.6m the year before. Underlying profit before tax, which excludes last year's restructuring costs plus other one-off items, improved to £17.1m from £14.2m.

Overall, margins for the group were much improved, hardening to 4.4% from 3.6% the year before.

Eric Born, Chief Executive of Wincanton commented: "Our new business pipeline remains healthy and we continue to be successful in securing significant levels of customer contract renewals. We remain acutely focused on margin growth and free cash flow generation."

Net debt of £123.0m at the end of September compares to £114.5m at the end of March and £177.6m at September 30th, 2011.

Whittling down the debt remains a priority for Wincanton, but it won't be a concern for Group Finance Director Jon Kempster, who has stood down from the board with immediate effect but who will stay on with the company until a replacement is found, or until January 31st, 2013, whichever comes sooner.

Kempster said that with the restructuring of the group now largely complete, the time was right to move on.

As expected, the group has not announced an interim dividend as it has previously stated it wants to get the debt down before thinking about returning cash to shareholders.

JH

Recommended

The top funds to invest in
Funds

The top funds to invest in

As market volatility and recessionary fears continue, here are the most popular funds, stocks and trusts investors are putting their money into accord…
2 Feb 2023
The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100
Income investing

The ten highest dividend yields in the FTSE 100

Rupert Hargreaves takes a look at the companies with the highest dividend yields in the UK’s blue-chip index
23 Jan 2023
The top ten dividend stocks in the FTSE 250
Share tips

The top ten dividend stocks in the FTSE 250

The average FTSE 250 dividend yield is around 4%, but many stocks yield much more. Rupert Hargreaves picks the best FTSE 250 stocks for income investo…
17 Jan 2023
Investing trends to watch out for in 2023: what analysts say
Investment strategy

Investing trends to watch out for in 2023: what analysts say

What are sensible strategies for high inflationary times? We ask analysts to find out.
22 Dec 2022

Most Popular

Best savings accounts – February 2023
Savings

Best savings accounts – February 2023

Interest rates on cash savings are making a comeback. We look at the best savings accounts on the market now
3 Feb 2023
The best one-year fixed savings accounts - February 2023
Savings

The best one-year fixed savings accounts - February 2023

Earn almost 5% on one-year fixed savings accounts.
3 Feb 2023
After slumping 42% last year, what's next for Scottish Mortgage?
Investment trusts

After slumping 42% last year, what's next for Scottish Mortgage?

After a spectacular couple of decades, the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust fell by 42% last year. We take a look at the trust's performance and dis…
3 Feb 2023