Northern Ireland owners of lorry company Montgomery Transport see profits soar 50% to £7m
Pre-tax profits at the parent company of lorry firm Montgomery Transport have grown by nearly 50% to reach £6.9m.
Turnover at Ballyvesey Holdings, which is based in England but run by the Northern Ireland Montgomery family, also increased by 1.4% to reach £621m over the year to September 30, 2016. However, job numbers were down from 2,665 to 2,540.
The compay report reveals that it employed 117 fewer drivers and mechanics, going from 1,433 to 1,316.
Production staff numbers were also down, from 513 to 433. However, it took on another 72 administration and sales staff, with numbers reaching 791 in those departments.
The company said it did not wish to comment.
The company, which bases its operations in Newtownabbey, operates chiefly in transport services, trailer manufacture and vehicle auction sales.
But in recent years it has expanded into providing finance deals for customers, as well as plant dealership and metal recycling. It has a commercial vehicle auction operation in Doncaster and North London, and carries out metal recyling in Northern Ireland.
It also operates three large rental fleets around England.
A strategic report filed with the accounts said directors were "pleased" with the increase in pre-tax profits.
Transport and logistics is the original division of the group, with the firm operating in "most areas of road transport" across the Irish Sea and delivering to the UK, Ireland and Western Europe.
It also trades as Birds Transport & Logistics.
The group also holds truck franchises for DAF, Fiat, Mercedes and Scania in areas around the UK.
And its Montracon division carries out manufacturing of trailers in Newtownabbey, Doncaster and Market Weighton.
But it said there were risks and uncertainties facing the group. "The transport and logistics sectors remain extremely competitive, with severe competition from both local, national and international operators.
"The group seeks to maintain an advantage over competitors by offering the highest level of customer services, whether that be in our transport companies, trailer manufacturing, truck or plant dealerships." Looking ahead, it said the business was "well-placed to take advantage of opportunities to develop further in the UK and in our companies elsewhere in Europe".
The report makes no reference to Brexit, regarded as a complicating factor for the logistics industry as it faces potential customs controls. "As far as they (the directors) are aware there are no major external obstacles to this further development."