Xpediator expects opportunities as logistics sector deals with pandemic

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What it does

Xpediator PLC (LON:XPD) is a freight specialist.

Delamode, a freight forwarding operation, was set up thirty years ago by Stephen Blyth.

This remains the group’s largest division, ahead of the Logistics and Warehousing arm, which has more than 80,000 square metres of warehousing capacity and a fast-growing pallet network franchise called Pall-Ex Romania.

Xpediator’s third division, Affinity Transport Solutions, sees the group use the purchasing power derived from a network of 1,700 hauliers operating over 12,700 lorries to buy items such as fuel cards, insurance, leasing and ferry transit.

There’s also a smaller but fast-growing division called EshopWeDrop – an online delivery business that allows consumers to take advantage of empty space in lorries to ship things bought in the UK to Lithuania or vice versa, for example.

How it’s doing

In September, Xpediator said it is fully prepared for Brexit whatever the outcome as it posted an increase in first-half profits.

Trading is almost back to pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) levels, the AIM-listed group said, helped by good performances in central Europe and a recovery in the UK following the COVID-19 disruption.

Revenues dipped 3% to GBP99.6mln in the half-year to June 30, 2020, while profits rose by a third top GBP302,000 as the good performance in freight forwarding offset dips in affinity and warehousing, which were the arms most affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

Underlying profits ticked up to GBP2.1mln (GBP2mln) and after good cash generation Xpediator raised its interim dividend by 60% to 0.45p.

In the results statement, Alex Borelli, Xpediator’s chairman, said that the performance of the Freight Forwarding division was particularly impressive in Lithuania, Bulgaria, Estonia and Serbia in the first half while the group’s domestic business in the UK showed strong margin growth.

Xpediator noted that a Brexit committee made up of the senior executives within the division was established in 2018 and has been meeting regularly to manage the project.

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Inflexion points

  • Xpediator expects to play a critical in UK trade post-Brexit
  • Buy and build strategy to achieve a medium-term target of GBP1bn in revenues
  • Market highly fragemented and will start to consolidate after COVID-19

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