Wincanton has published its Full Year Results for the financial year ended 31 March 2023.

The Group reports a year of profitable growth and strategic progress, delivered against a challenging external environment. Full year revenue increased 2.9% to £1,462.0m and underlying profit before tax increased 6.9% to £62.1m, a record result. The total dividend for the year was raised 10% to 13.2p.

Major new business wins were secured across all four of the Group’s sectors, with significant contract renewals also agreed with long-standing customers including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Partners, Wickes and Halfords.

While challenging economic conditions are expected to continue in the new financial year, Wincanton forecasts results for FY24 in line with market expectations.

James Wroath, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Our strategy delivered a strong result in FY23 despite the prevailing macro-economic challenges, particularly with regard to retail volumes and inflation. We continue to invest in technology as the route to deliver competitive advantage in the industry. Significant opportunities remain for warehouse automation across our Group, both in the foundation sectors and strategic growth markets. Furthermore, our transport operations have had a shift in focus with technology at the heart of our new market proposition. I am thankful to the Wincanton team who has delivered excellent performance in a difficult economy. Their determination and innovation will continue to be essential, as we expect volumes to remain under pressure into FY24 due to the macro-economic environment.”

Financial highlights

  • Full year revenue up 2.9% to £1,462.0m
  • Underlying EBITDA of £121.9m, an increase of 12.6% (2022: £108.3m) and underlying profit before tax up 6.9% to £62.1m (2022: £58.1m)
  • Headwinds detailed at H1 continued through H2; lower customer volumes impacted performance in H2
  • Managed inflationary pressures throughout the year; steps taken to pass through costs in open book contracts and control costs in closed book contracts
  • Group remains highly cash-generative, with strong free cash flow generated from operating activities
  • Focused cash management reinforced the financial position; closing net cash of £13.2m (2022: net cash of £3.7m)
  • Final dividend of 8.8p recommended (2022: 8.0p); full year dividend up 10% to 13.2p per share (2022: 12.0p)
  • Pension accounting surplus of £114.7m (2022: £114.5m), triennial review underway to determine lower funding commitments

Operational highlights

  • New business momentum sustained with major customer wins secured across the Group’s four sectors. Contract renewals agreed with long-standing customers including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose & Partners, Wickes, Co-op and Halfords
  • Consumer spending trends impacted retail volumes in Grocery & Consumer, General Merchandise and eFulfilment
  • Public & Industrial revenue boosted in year by expanded contract wins with DHSC and Defra, together with growth in defence through new work with BAE Systems
  • Strategic investments through the year in robotics and automation technologies. Successful deployment of Autonomous Mobile Robots at the Group’s Cygnia facility
  • Group Transport operations reorganised to create more efficient, profitable, digitally enabled service offering, resulting in restructuring and associated impairment charges of £19.5m

Outlook

  • Wincanton continues to forecast results for FY24 in line with expectations, which as previously indicated, reflect the challenging external economic environment
  • The Board is confident in the Group’s long term growth strategy, underpinned by the highly cash-generative business model and ability to deploy capital in its most profitable sectors. Management remains focused on delivering excellent customer service, driving efficiencies for both Wincanton and its customers and delivering growth from its pipeline of new business opportunities

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