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Fowler Welch boosts parent profits

Spalding, LIncolnshire, UK: Fowler Welch reported pre-tax profits up from £2.6m to £3.9m boosting profit and turnover for parent company, the Dart Group, for the year ending March 2012.

Overall, pre-tax profits at Dart Group rose 7% although they fell in the airline business where the firm was hit by higher fuel costs.

Philip Meeson, chairman Dart Group said Fowler Welch maintained growth in revenue of 6% to £152.4m. Operating profit increased by £1.5m to £4.3m despite “what was broadly recognised as a difficult trading environment”.

“The business faced a number of cost challenges in the year in particular related to energy and insurance rates, as well as continued price pressure from customers.

“Key network developments included the successful streamlining of the operations at the Hub in Heywood (Greater Manchester) from a challenging implementation in the previous year; the successful start-up of the Newton Abbot (Devon) site; and the rationalisation of the container operations as a result of choosing to cease trading at Felixstowe,” he said.

“The ambient operation at the Hub in Heywood saw slower than planned revenue growth, but gross margin performance improved significantly year-on-year. Emphasis on service has been a high priority following the site’s challenging implementation in 2010; the growing reputation of Fowler Welch in the ambient sector will see continued growth in the coming years,” Meeson said.