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Wincanton sees COVID-19 crisis surge in demand

25 March 2020

Wincanton, the largest British third-party logistics company, said levels of activity in recent weeks have been high in many of its sectors, particularly Grocery, Consumer and General Haulage.

The company said: “As we closely monitor the impact of COVID-19, our first priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families, whilst continuing to provide our essential logistics services to customers and playing a key role in helping the nation to function.”

Ahead of the full year results for the year ending 31 March 2020, currently expected to be announced on 20 May 2020, the Board said underlying profit will be in line with market expectations and net debt at year end will be down to between £10m and £15m.  

The exceptional profit arising from a property gain in the first half, will be partially offset by costs in association with M&A activity, principally relating to the possible acquisition of Eddie Stobart Logistics, said the firm.

COVID-19 Operational Measures

Wincanton: “We have a vital role to play in keeping the UK supply chain moving, especially in food, drinks, other household items and fuel. To ensure we fulfil that role successfully, we have been working closely with both our customers and the Government to maintain operations and plan for the challenging period ahead. We are engaged with the Government on their contingency planning and we are providing our wholehearted support to assist with short term distribution needs wherever we possibly can.

“Earlier this year, we established a central business continuity management team to coordinate our response across the business. This has resulted in the development of extensive plans with our customers to ensure operations can be maintained in the event of temporary labour shortfalls or site closures.We have also adopted working practices to minimise the risk of contagion across sites and our wider workforce. While infection presents the risk of higher than normal levels of absenteeism, we are attempting to minimise this through proactively managing collaboration across our diverse portfolio of customers, including the redeployment of both staff and fleet across sectors. For example, we have already deployed a number of staff and vehicles from our General Merchandise sector into the Grocery sector and are supplementing customer dedicated transport with our general haulage fleet.”