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Solid profits rise for Fakenham haulier

PUBLISHED: 13:03 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:37 07 July 2010

Despite the dismal time for many hauliers, Fakenham-based Jack Richards & Son has announced a "solid" rise in profits as it seeks to maximise opportunities to grow during the recession.

DESPITE the dismal time for many hauliers, Fakenham-based Jack Richards & Son has announced a "solid" rise in profits as it seeks to maximise opportunities to grow during the recession.

The company recorded a 9.9pc year-on-year increase in pre-tax profits in 2008, with turnover growing by 13.6pc.

And although the downturn has hit the likes of Attleborough-based Woody's Haulage, which ceased trading in the autumn with the loss of 75 jobs, Richards is investing in its fleet to take advantage of emerging export markets created by the falling value of the pound.

The company has spent £90,000 on three double-deck trailers to put to use on its European routes as part of the Palletways distribution network.

And as well as encouraging businesses to look towards the continent, a new ad-hoc service for individual pallets has been developed which could also help cash-strapped individuals to sell possessions abroad to make ends meet.

Dominic Purslow, operations manager for the Palletways depot at Richards, said: "There is no doubt we have noticed a definite increase in demand from customers looking to move goods both to and from Europe.

"It has been about 20pc in the last three months.

"What we are marketing is the fact that we can help local businesses develop European links on a very low-level, one-pallet basis... even if you are on hard times as a private individual and need to sell things on Ebay you need to be able to get it to your customer."

The three new trailers will be added to two more recently bought for £35,000 and branded in the livery of a major customer - walls and flooring manufacturer Altro.

Jack Richards started his company in 1956 with one lorry but now has more than 200 vehicles operating across the country.

A company spokesman said: "We recognise market conditions are still getting tougher,

but would emphasise that, while certainly

not being complacent, we believe we are in

good shape to manage the economic

downturn."

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