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Wincanton flags higher profits again as ecommerce boom drives logistics demand

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Wincanton PLC (LON:WIN) shares surged after the logistics group said it returned to growth in the past quarter such that it now expects full-year profits “materially ahead” of expectations.

Revenues were up 10% in the three months to end-December, 2020, the third quarter of the group’s financial year, with growth across all parts of the business boosted by a number of contract wins.

The largest increase was in the e-fulfilment sector, where revenue was up 40% due to higher demand as customers continue to switch to shopping from home.

Public and Industrial sector sales have also been boosted by strong volumes in construction and the increased utilisation of its shared transport network.

Work on new contracts started in the quarter, including a contract for the storage, order fulfilment and customer delivery of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits across the UK, plus providing logistics services at a number of Inland Border Clearance Centres.

Online order fulfilment business for retailers Waitrose and Dobbies of “significant” size will also start in the fourth quarter, Wincanton said.

In a statement, Wincanton chief executive James Wroath said: “The strong performance of our underlying business and the new contracts we are implementing in our strategic growth markets are clear evidence that we are delivering on our strategy even in the difficult current climate.”

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