Wincanton reports marginal growth in 2014

Wincanton has announced its preliminary results for the year to March 31, 2015. It reported revenue of £1.11bn, up by 0.9% on the prior year. Underlying EBITDA grew by 1.1% year-on-year to £64.1m. Accordingly Wincanton’s EBITDA margin stood at 5.79%.

Revenue growth was driven by a strong performance on new business wins and renewals. It was partly offset by the impact of certain site closures as retailers reshaped their distribution networks and also the impact of lower fuel prices as fuel is largely a pass through cost to Wincanton. On the whole the Contract Logistics division saw revenues slip back slightly from the prior year whilst the smaller Specialist Businesses division saw growth of 6.37%.

Underlying EBITDA was assisted by continuing cost efficiencies and good customer retention. The strong operating profit performance in the Contract logistics segment from organic growth and a high level of customer project activity also contributed to the result. However growth was partially offset by the losses suffered in Pullman operations, within the Specialist Businesses division.

Underlying pre-tax profits were up by 22.7% to £31.4m, reflecting lower interest expense following a refinancing during the year and the reduced average debt.

The group has continued to prioritise reducing net indebtedness and actively managing the risks arising from its pension obligations. Year-end net debt reduced from £64.9m to £57.6m and more importantly, average net debt during the year reduced from £168m to £136m. However the year-end IAS 19 accounting deficit stood at £144.2m, a rise of 30.03% over 2014, due largely to market discount rate movements.