Food storage and distribution business Reed Boardall swings back into profit despite continued cost pressures

Temperature-controlled food storage and distribution business Reed Boardall has swung back into profit despite continued pressure on costs.

The family-owned firm posted profits before taxation of £1.4m for the year ending March 31, 2023.

The group, which provides storage and logistics services from its single site in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire, to many of the UK’s leading food manufacturers and retailers, achieved a £5.5m uplift in profits year-on-year. In 2021-2022, a number of adverse conditions, including Covid lockdowns, a cyber-attack and spiralling fuel and energy costs, resulted in the company sustaining a £4.1m loss.

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Marcus Boardall, chief executive of Reed Boardall, said: “Given global uncertainty as the Ukraine conflict continues, together with ongoing inflation, pressure on our costs has been unrelenting.

Marcus Boardall, chief executive of Reed Boardall, with group finance director Sarah Roberts. Picture by Giles RochollMarcus Boardall, chief executive of Reed Boardall, with group finance director Sarah Roberts. Picture by Giles Rocholl
Marcus Boardall, chief executive of Reed Boardall, with group finance director Sarah Roberts. Picture by Giles Rocholl

"In such a challenging environment, the group has once again put in a strong performance, based on its longevity, outstanding reputation in the sector and the skills of our highly trained team.”

Mr Boardall added: “We were pleased to see labour shortages having a smaller impact last year than previously, largely due to initiatives we have undertaken to ease the industry’s recruitment issues, including our ongoing investment in training and improving working practices.

"By the end of the financial year, we had succeeded in training over 50 new recruits via our in-house driver academy, enabling them to become qualified HGV drivers, as well as having set up a number of administration and technician apprenticeships.”

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Mr Boardall continues: “Having already weathered one of the toughest years in our 30-year history, we are pleased that our latest financial results show the strength of the business as we look forward to further growth. The year ahead looks positive as we continue to prove the success of our single site strategy which enables us to provide an efficient and reliable service to our customer.”

Sarah Roberts, group finance director, said : “It is great news that despite market turmoil, the business is back on track with both turnover and profits increasing.

"Some of the positive trends we saw included higher average store utilisation than the previous year, and the recent extension to our 168,000 pallet cold store running at very high capacity.

“The group prides itself for being at the forefront of the cold storage and distribution sector and we plan to continue to innovate, for example, by seeking to further reduce our carbon consumption, water usage and waste production; and by investing in new technology and practices to drive additional operating efficiencies.

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“Our can-do attitude, long heritage and financial strength, put us in a strong position to continue to support some of the leading names in the UK food industry.”

Based on a dedicated 55-acre site on Bar Lane, Reed Boardall has grown to become one of the largest temperature-controlled food distribution businesses in the UK.

With a fleet of 200 vehicles operating 24 hours a day, year-round, it delivers 12,000 pallets of frozen food daily from manufacturers across Britain, Europe and further afield to all the UK’s best-known supermarkets. It also provides blast freezing, picking and packaging services.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

In 2022, it promoted Norman Hartley from head of transport operations to transport operations director.