Fuel logistics firm grows revenue

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Global logistics firm Hoyer reached record turnover of €1.1bn in 2014, despite pressures from stagnant demand in Europe and a challenging fuel sector.

The Hamburg-based family run business, which has operations in Huddersfield, said revenues climbed €20m from €1.09bn in 2013.

Pre-tax earnings totalled €38.6m, up from €35.6m the year before with a pre-tax return on sales of 3.5 per cent.

The group’s equity rose to €258m with an equity ratio of 42 per cent.

Thomas Hoyer, advisory board chairman at Hoyer, said the firm maintained its market position despite global economic growth that “fell short of expectations”.

“Although we expect to see an increase in economic growth in 2015, we are also anticipating a persistently high intensity of global competition,” he said.

“We nevertheless intend to carry on growing in 2015 thanks to the expansion of our international activities and further strategic collaborations.”

Hoyer’s portfolio of services includes chemicals transportation, food transport and gas logistics for commercial and industrial businesses.

In the UK, Yorkshire-based Hoyer Petrolog specialises in fuel and bitumen delivery.

The group had around 34,000 tank containers, 3,000 road tankers, 24,000 bulk containers and 2,500 trucks globally in 2014.

Hoyer’s Gaslog business, which is responsible for transporting industrial gases, saw the largest growth in turnover, rising five per cent.

It was closely followed by its Deep Sea division, which grew four per cent on 2013.

Hoyer’s Chemilog division accounted for the largest proportion of revenues, but saw a “marginal” decrease in performance due to market price pressures, the firm said.

Hoyer Petrolog saw its revenues up one per cent to £94m. It accounted for 21 per cent of turnover for the group.

Petrolog UK managing director Mark Binns said sales were relatively stable across 2014, following a “disappointing” performance in 2013.

He said: “The fuels marketplace here continues to be a challenging and turbulent operating environment, experiencing very mixed general economic conditions and fragile confidence, which results in stagnant consumer demand.”

Reductions in some key contracts had been offset by growth in the Shard-User Fleet business and new opportunities in the South East.

“Again, despite very challenging conditions underlying trading performance was reasonable, and an improvement on both expectations and on a disappointing 2013, and back to the levels of 2012,” he said.

The results reflect Hoyer’s experience of long-standing customers losing market share and retail specialist networks - so-called Super Dealers - seeing success by aggressively growing volumes, Mr Binns said.

While market turbulence brings challenges, it brings opportunities if the business can remain agile and flexible, he added.

He said: “While we remain optimistic about our future in Europe and the UK and Ireland we must remind ourselves all the time that we are in a highly demanding and competitive service business where meeting the evolving needs of our customers is critical.

“Success depends on our people and on our safety performance and, especially these days, our customer service performance, delivered in an attractive, consistent and efficient way.”