Business

McCulla's directors upbeat on economic prospects after difficult start to 2021

In a report covering the business performance during 2021, McCulla's directors said they were confident about the economic outlook for the industry over the next 12 months.
In a report covering the business performance during 2021, McCulla's directors said they were confident about the economic outlook for the industry over the next 12 months. In a report covering the business performance during 2021, McCulla's directors said they were confident about the economic outlook for the industry over the next 12 months.

THE McCulla logistics group has delivered an upbeat outlook for the Lisburn-based business after what it described as a difficult period for the haulage industry following the immediate implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol in early 2021.

In a new set of company accounts covering 2021, McCulla Holdings Limited reported a 13 per cent rise in group revenue to £32.7 million.

And while the group’s gross profit rose by 5 per cent to £15.7m, higher distribution and administrative costs left pre-tax profits 20 per cent down year-on-year to £3.1m for the 12 months to December 31 2021. But profits for 2021 were still well in excess of levels prior to 2020.

The logistics group’s accounts show it continued to invest significantly in 2021 on staff, buildings, fleet and acquiring Mallusk Cold Storage Limited in October 2021.

The cold storage investment appeared to reap rewards this year, with McCulla landing a new storage deal with Iceland, as the frozen food retailer continued to adapt its Northern Ireland supply chain for the post-Brexit protocol landscape.

The directors said the food retail side to the business “remained strong during the pandemic and the directors expect this to continue”.

Meanwhile, an expansion of the workforce added another £1.8m to the wage bill in 2021, taking total staff costs to just over £10m for last year.

Other moves by the group include establishing its own customs processing facility to help maintain trade movements across the Irish sea.

READ MORE: Iceland secure new post-Brexit logistics deal to supply stores in north

In the strategic report accompanying the accounts, McCulla’s directors said: “With 2021 being a challenging environment with the implementation of the post-Brexit legislation from January 1 2021, the directors are happy with how the year progressed after a particularly difficult first quarter for all haulage companies involved in moving goods across the Irish Sea.

“The directors believe the outlook for the company remains positive."

They added: “The group is confident about the economic outlook for its industry over the next 12 months.”

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