Wincanton: we have a vital role to play in keeping the UK supply chain moving
British third-party logistics company, Wincanton plc, has announced a pre-close trading update for the year ending 31 March 2020 showing ‘positive growth’.
As we closely monitor the impact of COVID-19, our first priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families, whilst continuing to provide our essential logistics services to customers and playing a key role in helping the nation to function. In so doing, we have implemented measures in line with Government advice which are described in more detail below.
Our levels of activity in recent weeks have been high in many of our sectors, particularly Grocery, Consumer and General Haulage. We have recently experienced record levels of demand for our services from many of our leading customers and current indications are that good levels of demand will be maintained in those sectors during the period being impacted by COVID-19.
Pre-Close Trading Update
Ahead of the full year results for the year ending 31 March 2020, currently expected to be announced on 20 May 2020, the Board is pleased to confirm that underlying profit will be in line with market expectations and net debt at year end will be down to between£10 million and £15 million. Revenue growth of over 4% for the year is slightly ahead of expectations and reflects new business and strong volumes throughout the second half in the Retail and Consumer sector.
The exceptional profit arising from a property gain in the first half, will be partially offset by costs in association with M&A activity, principally relating to the possible acquisition of Eddie Stobart Logistics plc.
COVID-19 Operational Measures
We have a vital role to play in keeping the UK supply chain moving, especially in food, drinks, other household items and fuel. To ensure we fulfil that role successfully, we have been working closely with both our customers and the Government to maintain operations and plan for the challenging period ahead. We are engaged with the Government on their contingency planning and we are providing our wholehearted support to assist with short term distribution needs wherever we possibly can.
Earlier this year, we established a central business continuity management team to coordinate our response across the business. This has resulted in the development of extensive plans with our customers to ensure operations can be maintained in the event of temporary labour shortfalls or site closures.We have also adopted working practices to minimise the risk of contagion across sites and our wider workforce. While infection presents the risk of higher than normal levels of absenteeism, we are attempting to minimise this through proactively managing collaboration across our diverse portfolio of customers, including the redeployment of both staff and fleet across sectors. For example, we have already deployed a number of staff and vehicles from our General Merchandise sector into the Grocery sector and are supplementing customer dedicated transport with our general haulage fleet.