Haulier Wincanton hurt by stay-away shoppers

THe squeeze on high street spending is set to inflict further pain on parts of haulage firm Wincanton in the coming year.

The group, which serves Sainsbury’s, WH Smith and Tesco among others, said conditions in the retail and consumer goods sectors were set to remain challenging. Shares fell more than 12 per cent as analysts cut their forecasts for the year ahead after Wincanton warned some of its businesses would be hit as customers suffered a drop in demand, leaving Wincanton with excess space in its warehouses.

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Wincanton, which last year sold its mainland European operations as part of a turnaround plan, said contract wins and cost cutting measures helped it perform in-line with expectations in the year to the end of last month.

Wincanton shares closed down 9.25p at 64.25p. The group employs 26,000 people.