Clipper Logistics, the firm that distributes goods for blue chip retailers such as Asda, Morrisons, John Lewis and ASOS, reported a strong pipeline of new business opportunities as it announced a 67 per cent leap in half year profits.
The Leeds-based firm said profits rose to £3.6m in the six months to October 31.
It also announced the £5.7m acquisition of Servicecare Support Services which will extend the group’s returns management operations to include electrical items, in addition to general merchandise and clothing.
Clipper said Servicecare has a strong client base that includes Argos, Richer Sounds, Panasonic, Shop Direct Group and Tefal.
Clipper believes that returns management is an increasingly important area for retailers. In the UK between 25 and 40 per cent of all clothing and footwear purchases are returned.
Historically, customers returned the product to the store where the purchase was made, but as online retail has developed, customers are demanding more choice in their method of return. Clipper said this is a challenging process for retailers, many of whom are passing the problem onto logistics companies.
The group announced a maiden interim dividend of 1.6p per share.
Steve Parkin, executive chairman of Clipper, said: “These are the first interim results of Clipper post-IPO and I am pleased to report that the group has delivered results in line with the board’s expectations, with strong revenue and profit growth, and good cash conversion.
“Clipper continues to have a market-leading position in the high-growth area of e-fulfilment logistics, and has seen strong organic growth on existing contracts complemented by the impact of new contract wins.
“We remain confident for the future and look forward to updating our shareholders and the markets throughout the year,”