Anonymous Nov 19

Logistics giant well placed as sales pass £190m

Logistics giant well placed as sales pass £190m image

A Preston-headquartered logistics and warehousing specialist is "well placed" to pursue its strategic objectives after increasing turnover past the £190m mark.

A Preston-headquartered logistics and warehousing specialist is "well placed" to pursue its strategic objectives after increasing turnover past the £190m mark.

WH Bowker was founded in 1919 when William Bowker used his war gratuity to buy the first vehicle. He began making deliveries in Lancashire before assembling one of the largest fleets in the area.

The General Strike of 1926 became the catalyst for further expansion when he began making the first overnight trunks to London carrying consignments of fruit from Liverpool Docks to the markets of Covent Garden.

Today, it operates more than 160 vehicles, 300 trailers and more than one million sq ft of warehousing across its seven UK sites.

For the year to 31 December 2017, WH Bowker reported turnover of £190.7m compared to £164.6m in 2016.

EBITDA was also up from £3.48m to £3.54m, while the prior year's pre-tax profit of £637,000 slipped to a loss of £662,000.

During the year, WH Bowker opened a new aftersales centre in Preston to facilitate the long-term growth aspirations of the business. It has also undertaken a programme of "considerable investment" in the refurbishment of facilities at Blackburn, meaning it is now "well-invested for the long term future".

Potter Logistics – which was bought in November 2016 – contributed to the increase in sales.

Meanwhile, directors noted that they were disappointed with how Maserati performed at Bowker Ribble Valley – which specialises in retailing pre-owned prestige and sports cars – and took the decision to exit the brand.

Looking ahead, the group believes it is "well placed to pursue its strategic objectives" and has increased flexibility on the back of replacing its funding facilities with structured term loans from BMW Financial Services work capital from HSBC.

Last month, Bowker appointed Warden Construction to build its 43,000 sq ft Porsche Centre in Preston.

Source: Insider Media