Norish sees pre-tax profit rise and says outlook “strong”

London, UK: Multi-temperature warehousing and logistics business Norish boosted pre-tax profit by 17.6% to £1.94m in the 2018 financial year (2017: £1.65m).

However, group revenue fell by 12.4% to £36.8m (2017: £42.0m). The company said that sales in its cold stores were down 4%, from £14.3m to £13.7m in 2018, due mainly to a reduction in blast freezing activity.

The temperature-controlled division performed ahead of the same period last year. The number of pallets into stores fell by 9%, blast freezing volumes decreased by 18% and average occupancy increased from 92% to 94%.

The directors said: “We anticipate another year of strong profit growth for the group in 2019. In our cold store division, the year has got off to a strong start in the first two months of the year. Management continues to focus on maximising both sales mix and pricing, in a market that is currently more favorable to cold storage businesses, than it has been at any time in the most recent past.

“The UK frozen food sector is currently the fastest growing retail category, growing at 4% per annum. A combination of factors is driving this growth including growth in online shopping, premiumisation of the category as well as providing a solution to food waste. This growth comes against a background of a cold store market which has seen a lack of significant investment over an extended number of years.”

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