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Wilsons Auctions gets deal to help Royal Mail sell vans

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland firm Wilsons Auctions has won a UK-wide deal with Royal Mail to help dispose of its vehicles. The Mallusk-based family firm will be remarketing and selling unwanted motors from the fleet across the UK.

It will also store the vehicles ahead of an auction taking place.

It's the company's thirteenth contract win so far this year.

The value of the latest, two-year deal has not been disclosed, but it is understood to be a multimillion-pound contract.

Wilsons Auctions, which recently marked its 80th birthday, processes around £250m worth of goods every year through its auctions.

The company has a large number of UK-wide contracts, including a multi-agency arrangement for the sale of assets seized by police forces around the UK, including South Wales Police, Gwent Police, Dyfed Powys Police, the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Peter Johnston, Wilsons Auctions group operations director, said: "Wilsons Auctions is delighted to be working with Royal Mail, assisting with the disposal of its vehicles which will be supported by our branches across the UK.

"We have had a very successful year so far, winning a significant number of contracts, and are proud to work with a number of agencies in the asset recovery and disposal of items across the UK and Ireland.

"In recent months we have returned in excess of £80m to the public purse and have an enviable reputation for maximising asset realisation while minimising costs, making the asset recovery process as stress-free as possible for our clients."

The company collects, values, stores, remarkets and auctions off assets for its clients.

It also uses the online auction facility, LiveBid, which opens up its business and products to a world-wide audience.

Wilsons has premises in Belfast, Portadown and Dublin, as well as locations in Great Britain including Dalry, Telford, Queensferry, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Maidstone.

It holds a large number of auctions to dispose of the proceeds of crime, ranging from helicopters to jewellery and PCs.

Wilsons currently employs 325 people across the UK and Ireland after starting out 80 years ago with just 12 staff.

Earlier this year, the company bought auction businesses in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Maidstone in Kent, where it purchased premises which formerly belonged to surveyors Lambert and Foster.

Its site in Dalry, outside Glasgow, was the business's first opening in Great Britain.

The firm recently opened an office in Spain for the sale of international property for government clients.

Wilsons was formed in 1936 by William J Wilson. It is now directed by his son, Ian. Turnover at the company last year was £11.1m, up from £10.9m in 2014. Pre-tax profits, meanwhile, more than doubled from £292,827 to £768,023.

Police work aside, the core of the business remains its regular vehicle auctions.

It sells off vehicles on behalf of car giant Lookers plc and its subsidiary, Charles Hurst, in Northern Ireland.

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