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Xpediator sees commercial opportunities from a hard Brexit

The period saw growth in freight management services to more than 14,000 customers annually from 12,000 at the end of 2018

Brexit clock is ticking

Freight management services provider Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) saw increased revenue and operating profit in all parts of the business in the first half of 2019.

Group turnover in the six months to the end of June rose 29.8% to £102.4mln from £79.8mln the previous year, with £15.4mln of the £23.5mln improvement due to acquisitions.

Adjusted profit before tax eased to £1.96mln from £2.63mln the year before, with the group attributing the decline to certain challenges in UK logistics, additional investment in personnel and information technology plus higher than expected losses from EshopWeDrop.

Reported profit before tax was £227,000, compared to £2.16mln the year before.

As a result of management actions that have been taken, together with continued positive trading from Xpediator's core businesses, the board now expects adjusted profit before tax for the current year to be not less than £5.0mln.

The group was cash generative in the first half of the year, with net cash generated from operations of £5.5mln, compared to net cash used the year before of around £100,000.

The board has recommended an interim dividend of 0.28p, down from 0.42p at the halfway point in 2018.

In the pipeline: acquisitions and Brexit

Xpediator said it maintains a healthy pipeline of potential acquisitions but the primary focus is on improved integration of recent acquisitions, cross-selling services and delivering organic opportunities.

The group has invested significantly in preparing for Brexit and believes a hard Brexit represents an opportunity to make significant profits from customs processes.

"These results demonstrate demand for our services is high both in the UK and on the continent; we are delivering more services to more clients and are on track to generate over £200 million of revenues in the current financial year,” said Alex Borelli, the chairman of Xpediator.

“Xpediator remains a fast-growing, asset-light and profitable business; however, in the first half of this year, we faced challenges in our e-commerce businesses and in UK logistics which have and will reduce our profitability in the current year,” Borelli cautioned.

“The board has assessed the e-commerce opportunity and based on current expectations of one year, one to two and two to five year plans, concluded that it is right to continue to invest in the e-commerce division in the second half of 2019. In addition, management have implemented solutions to the problems incurred in our UK logistics division. Despite the challenges incurred, our core businesses have performed strongly, generating good revenue growth and demonstrating the underlying strength of the business," Borelli said.

Quick facts: Xpediator PLC

Price: 37 GBX

AIM:XPD
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £50.32 m
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