What it does

Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) is a freight specialist.

Delamode, a freight forwarding operation, was set up thirty years ago by Stephen Blyth.

This remains the group’s largest division, ahead of the Logistics and Warehousing arm, which has more than 80,000 square metres of warehousing capacity and a fast-growing pallet network franchise called Pall-Ex Romania.

Xpediator’s third division, Affinity Transport Solutions, sees the group use the purchasing power derived from a network of 1,700 hauliers operating over 12,700 lorries to buy items such as fuel cards, insurance, leasing and ferry transit.

There’s also a smaller but fast-growing division called EshopWeDrop – an online delivery business that allows consumers to take advantage of empty space in lorries to ship things bought in the UK to Lithuania or vice versa, for example.

How it’s doing

In a trading update in November, Xpediator said trading in the year to end December 2020 had continued to recover to historic levels.

As a result, it expects to report adjusted profit before tax of at least GBP6mln, an 18% increase over the previous year’s GBP5.15mln.

Demand for freight forwarding services had strengthened with the group seeing additional income from new markets.

As a result, 2020 revenues for this division are expected to exceed 2019 by approximately GBP10mln (2019: GBP159.6mln).

Affinity brand, which provides fuel and toll cards to European hauliers, saw monthly revenues recover well from 40% in April (vs 2019) to only 6.5% below in October compared to 2019.

Warehousing in Romania and Pall-Ex have performed well throughout the year, recovering from the impact from the pandemic.

Income from UK warehousing was reduced due to lower activity amongst retailing clients, however, the second half has been much stronger, especially at Import Services based in the Southampton docks.

Overall, the outlook for 2021 remains strong, even with likely ongoing disruption in specific areas relating to the pandemic said the statement.

What the boss says: Robert Ross,CEO

“For Xpediator, 2020 has demonstrated the strength of being a diversified business. While the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in less traffic and therefore reduced use of our fuel cards, demand has increased for our freight forwarding and warehouse and logistics services, and we have also delivered on cost-saving initiatives.

“The net result is expected to deliver an 18% increase in annual adjusted profit before tax and annual cost savings of GBP0.5 million. This, combined with our fuel card business returning to normal, means we are moving forward into 2021 with confidence.”

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Inflexion points

  • Xpediator expects to play a critical in UK trade post-Brexit
  • Buy and build strategy to achieve a medium-term target of GBP1bn in revenues
  • Market highly fragmented and will start to consolidate after COVID-19

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