Big contract wins help Clipper Logistics' half-year trading steam ahead
Just how strong was Clipper Logistics’ half-year performance to 31 October? Very. Add together high-profile customer contract wins, organic growth in e-commerce and a robust rebound in activities in non e-fulfilment and it’s no wonder group revenue jumped by a third and pre-tax earnings by an eighth.
Executive chairman Steve Parkin called the performance “pleasing” with “significant” progress across the group delivering an “impressive” growth in revenue.
And it was those high-profile contract wins that more than tipped the balance with the start of new operations in H1 with JD Sports, John Lewis, Mountain Warehouse and Wilko.
And Clipper’s joint venture agreement with star signing Farfetch will create a global e-fulfilment solution for its products which will launch in early 2022, initially targeting new US and Asian markets.
It noted the Farfetch deal, focusing on the luxury online market, “will significantly extend our geographical reach further both in Europe and further afield."
Even before that Farfetch deal really gets under way, its intense activity saw group revenue jump 33.1% to £406.1 million with strong growth in both e-fulfilment and returns management services and non e-fulfilment logistics of 31.7% and 41.6% respectively.
Group pre-tax profit rose 12.6% to £16.1 million and reported group EBIT increased 12.1% to £22.6 million.
There was also a “significant” reduction in net debt to £11.2 million from £27.7 million in the year ago period.
Other operational highlights included the timely opening of a new distribution centre in Venray, Netherlands, while it secured further long-term additional warehousing capacity in Daventry in England. The group now operates from 52 sites throughout the UK and mainland Europe and operates 14.3 million sq ft of warehouse space under management.
It also developed an automated solution for LifeStyle Sports utilising autonomous mobile robots with Geek+, scheduled to go live in early 2022 and said it was continuing to invest in automated solutions.
Key objectives for fiscal 22 include more of the same: continuing growth in e-commerce, new contract wins, growth in Europe, strategic M&A activity in Europe and the US and investment in technology and business intelligence.
Parkin added that, given the performance so far, the board is positive about the long-term outlook. “I am pleased to report that in trading post-period-end we have successfully delivered record volumes compared to the prior year on many of our sites”, he said.
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