Shares in logistics company Wincanton were up on Thursday following a 'transformational' year, despite a decline in pre-tax profits.
Revenue for the year declined from £1,328.3m to £1,202.8m, while underlying profit before tax dropped £1.2m to £28.8m. Underlying earnings per share fell from 19.6p to 18p. Actually losses before tax came in at £47.4m (2011: profit £3.6m) and the basic loss per share came down 22.1p to 89.3p.
Chief Executive Eric Born said: "This has been a year of transformation for Wincanton as we reposition the group for a return to profitable growth. Following the successful disposal of the Mainland Europe businesses, Wincanton is now a UK & Ireland business where we have a great operational reputation and critical mass.
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"The operating business in the UK & Ireland is now better focused and is performing well both in securing existing contracts and winning new business. This creditable performance has been achieved against a significant headwind from economic uncertainty which has not only impacted volumes but also, more materially, the actions of our customers.
"Our refinancing has improved both the maturity and diversification of our debt and over time the board will address the legacy debt. In the new financial year we will continue to concentrate on improving the performance of the operating business to its full potential and will also develop further our product and service extensions."
The firm admitted that overall trading from continuing operations reflected the difficult market conditions. Underlying operating profits fell from £46.7m to £43.8m, with the operating margin up slightly at 3.6%. There were substantial exceptional charges, reflecting the consequences of all the restructuring activities referred to above. No dividend was paid (2011: 17p).
The share price rose 4.09% to 44.5p by 14:16.
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