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Maritime Transport delivers ‘good return’ despite Hanjin Shipping collapse

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Maritime Transport saw pre-tax profit rise almost 10% year-on-year despite the collapse of "significant customer" Hanjin Shipping last year.

According to its most recently filed accounts to Companies House the Felixstowe container haulage giant incurred a bad debt as a result of the South Korean shipping line - formerly the world's seventh largest by volume - filing for bankruptcy protection on 31 August 2016.

Despite this, turnover rose 13.3% to £224.6m for the year-ending 27 December 2016, from £198.3m in the previous year. Pre-tax profit rose 9.7% to £5.9m from £5.4m.

In his strategic report, MD John Williams said that a policy of "retaining significant profits each year and maintaining a strong financial standing" had ensured that Maritime was less exposed to a customer failing.

He added that while volumes in the first half of the year were below expectations - creating a "slight imbalance between revenue and resource" - volumes were strong in the second half of the year and the peak for containers and distribution "delivered a good return".

"The increasing levels of profits and cash enable the business to continue its strategy of continued growth and investment," he noted.

Maritime signed a contract with international freight handler Allport Cargo Services - that saw 44 vehicles distributed between its Southampton, Tamworth, Manchester and Doncaster depots - in July 2016.

Maritime also spend the trading year upgrading its entire IT hardware platform; invested heavily in telematics and camera equipment as well as freehold property in Alconbury.

It also continued replacing its vehicle and trailer fleet: 2016 saw Maritime buy Mercedes-Benz for the first time since 2011, with 65 Actros tractor units joining the fleet in June 2016 followed by a further 35 in November 2016.

January saw Maritime place orders for some 230 units across Scania, Volvo and Mercedes marques. Orders for its first Next Generation Scania comprised part of its 105-unit order from the manufacturer this June.

Upgrades were also made to the drivers facilities at its Southampton depot - with Williams stating that provision of such facilities was "vital for a professional company" and would offer drivers "the rest facilities required for safer driving".

Source: MotorTransport

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