Wincanton withdraws from Foodservice activities

Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK: Wincanton says it has taken action to withdraw from its loss-making Foodservice activities.

Wincanton made the announcement in its interim financial results which revealed the company had made a pre-tax loss of £75.5m in the six months to 30 September following the sale of its European operations. Wincanton made a pre-tax profit of £11.7m in the first half of 2010.Revenue fell 5.6% to £1.04bn in the six months against the same period last year.

Wincanton’s other financial and operational highlights of the period included:

• Underlying UK & Ireland operating profit margin stable at 3.6%

• Annualised contract wins and renewals secured totalling £135m

• Disposed of Mainland European businesses

Eric Born, Wincanton’s chief executive, said: “We have made good progress in the execution of the structural aspects of our strategy to exit from Mainland Europe and to improve shareholder value. We are now well positioned to focus on the operational aspects of our strategy and to build on our reputation for service excellence in our core UK & Ireland market. Through the delivery of operational efficiencies and contract wins we expect to continue to build on the strong, underlying profitability of our UK & Ireland business.”