Black Friday boost for Clipper

Steve Parkin, chairman of Clipper Logistics

Steve Parkin, chairman of Clipper Logistics

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​​Clipper Logistics, the firm that distributes goods for retailers such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Asda​ ​and Morrisons, reported a strong first half​ and said it had seen a positive "Black Friday" week. ​

The Leeds-based group said that in 2014 it was ​just​ "Black Friday​"​, in 2015 it was​ extended to ​"Cyber Weekend​" and 2016 has seen the event ​turn into ​"​Cyber Week​"​.

Clipper's CEO Tony Mannix​ ​said: "Retailers have been smarter this year, holding sales over a longer period rather than one crazy day. Spending over more days is much more beneficial. It was a cyber week rather than one day."

Clipper ​reported a 320 per cent in orders on Black Friday ​compared with an average Friday earlier in November.

T​he firm said 99.8 per cent of its customers' orders​ were dispatched on time.

​Clipper said the modern consumer has become accustomed to having what they want, when they want it, and this is true for Black Friday too, so there is a big expectation that logistics providers must be able to perform.

"One weak-link in the chain can lead to bottlenecks, and disappointed customers, venting their frustration on social media and beyond," said Mr Mannix.

"In order to combat this, retailers and their partners must look at smarter solutions, for example click-and-collect options to take the uncertainty out of the supply-chain."

H​e was speaking as the firm announced a 17 per cent increase in revenue to £165m in the six months to October 31. Pre-tax profit rose 26 per cent to £7m.

The firm said its​ ​new business pipeline is​ ​strong and it expects the positive momentum from existing and new​ ​contracts to continue into the second half of the year.

​Clipper has raised the interim dividend by 20 per cent to 2.4p, reflecting its confidence in the future.

​Analyst Greg Poulton at N+1 Singer said: "The outlook statement is positive, with the new business pipeline at a strong level and the board expecting positive momentum to continue into the second half.

"Clipper’s share price has performed well since our initiation note in September and is now near our target price of 370p."​

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