UPDATED: John Lewis connection provides boost for Clipper

Steve Parkin, Executive Chairman of Clipper
Steve Parkin, Executive Chairman of Clipper
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Clipper Logistics, the firm that distributes goods for some of the biggest names in retailing, today revealed that it had delivered a strong rise in revenues after its performance was boosted by a joint venture with John Lewis.

In the year ended April 30 2017, Clipper’s revenue rose by 17.2 per cent to £340.1m, and profit after tax increased by 20.6 per cent to £12.5m.

Leeds-based Clipper recently snapped up two acquisitions - Tesam Distribution Limited and RepairTech Limited - and the company said that its pipeline has never been stronger.

It also enjoyed significant new contract wins and growth within its existing client-range, which includes Bradford-based supermarket chain Morrisons.

Steve Parkin, the executive chairman of Clipper, commented: “The group is proud of its track record of consistently developing effective solutions to address the changing needs of retailers in today’s continually evolving consumer landscape.

“Our latest set of full year results reflects the trust and confidence that our customers have in our ability to enable them to achieve their service proposition to their own customers, through the provision of relevant and cost-effective services.

“Clipper’s strategy of driving organic growth and seeking targeted, complementary acquisitions continues to enhance shareholder value.

“As we move into our new financial year, we have a strong pipeline of new business opportunities, and we look forward to updating shareholders as these crystallise over the coming months.

“Clicklink, our Click and Collect solution owned jointly with John Lewis, now provides a multi-user platform which is gaining significant traction with other retailers.

“In addition, the recent acquisitions of Tesam and RepairTech broaden both our customer base and our suite of services, and will be immediately earnings-enhancing.”

Clipper’s said its returns management services brand Boomerang enjoyed another successful year, with approximately 89 per cent of product successfully returned to prime stock “at first pass”.

The company also maintained “excellent service levels” throughout the 2016 Black Friday to Cyber Monday peak trading period, the group said in a statement.

Clipper said it has got cash to spend on acquisitions and currently has 4,000 staff, a figure that can double at peak times.

It has 40 distribution centres, including 12 in the North. It also has six active sites in Germany and one in Poland.

Clipper also believes that, because of Brexit, it is important to have a strong business in Europe. A spokesman confirmed that it will consider European acquisitions, “if the right one comes along”.

The company’s earnings per share increased by 20.5 per cent to 12.5p and the dividend per share also rose by 20.0 per cent to 7.2p

The Clipper Group was founded by entrepreneur Mr Parkin in 1992, with just one van delivering clothing for fashion stores. It has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years, through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.

In May, Clipper Logistics bought a warehousing and distribution services provider for just under

£12m.

The firm acquired Tesam Distribution, which operates from three sites in and around Peterborough.

Steve Parkin, executive chairman of Clipper, described Tesam as a “successful, robustly profitable and cash generative business” which Clipper had known for some time.

Analyst Greg Poulton at N+1 Singer said in May: “This is a strong acquisition which we consider to be at an attractive price.”

Gareth Harris of RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

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