Logistics specialist weathers slump in turnover

Warehouse and logistics contractor Benniman improved its profit margin last year despite a 21 per cent fall in revenue.

The firm’s annual accounts for the year ending 31 December 2023, published on the Companies House website on Wednesday (17 April), showed that turnover dropped from £164.7m to £129.8m.

However, pre-tax profit increased by almost £88,000 to end last year at £8.4m.

As a result, Benniman’s profit margin widened from 5.1 per cent in 2022 to 6.5 per cent the following year.

The Worcestershire-based firm was a new entrant in the CN100 2023 table of top contractors at 89th place, after turnover in 2022 almost doubled compared with 2021’s £85.7m.

Completed projects last year included the final phase of construction at the £32m Spa Park business park in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, for Stoford and Blackrock.

Benniman also finished work on a £15m warehouse for St Modwen in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire (pictured).

Company directors said that a strong pipeline enabled the firm to maintain profitability amid “challenged” market conditions in 2023 that have continued this year. Data for February from intelligence provider Glenigan shows a 57 per cent year-on-year decrease in warehousing and logistics starts.

The company ended last year with cash at hand of £54.6m, marking a 42 per cent increase on the 2022’s year-end figure of £38.3m.

The directors said that Benniman’s cash position was “key to the securing of new work, especially in these times where insolvency within the construction industry is on the rise and clients are looking more at their risk profile entering into contracts”.

The firm has no bank loan debt and paid out dividends of £2.63m in 2023, compared with £2.15m the year before.

Average monthly staff headcount fell from 49 to 44.

Ongoing projects include a 95,000 square foot industrial/warehouse unit in Leicester for Hamdon Gate Developments, and a 72,000 square foot warehouse scheme for St Modwen Park at Broomhall near Worcester.

In his strategic report alongside the latest accounts, Benniman managing director Steven Smith said that Benniman’s pipeline “should guarantee a stable platform well into 2024 and beyond”.

He acknowledged concerns about inflation and materials availability but identified future opportunities “to meet the requirements of online retail platforms and storage”.

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