Tibbett strengthens ties to Ford delivery network

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The Independent Online
TIBBETT & BRITTEN, the fast- growing transport and logistics group, added another company to its list yesterday with the purchase of Toleman, a vehicle distributor, for pounds 15.4m.

The deal gives Tibbett a strong position as the leading delivery contractor for Ford in Britain. Silcock, which Tibbett bought at the end of 1992, handles Ford exports, while Toleman looks after Ford imports.

The purchase was announced as Tibbett reported a 64 per cent rise in profits to pounds 24.2m before tax in 1993. Silcock was the main area of growth, adding pounds 7.6m to operating profits and pounds 92.3m to turnover, despite the downturn in the European motor industry.

But John Harvey, chairman, said organic growth accounted for 14 per cent of the rise in turnover. He said Tibbett was now prepared for a period of consolidation.

The international division made a profit for the first time - pounds 700,000 on revenues that tripled to pounds 40.6m. Mr Harvey said it was growing strongly. Staff in Canada increased from 670 to 1,100 since the year end on contracts from Wal-Mart, the US stores group.

'In the UK, our main distribution business grew 4 per cent, with food flat but good growth in consumer products, such as clothes, toiletries and DIY products.

'The group has doubled in size since 1991, but we've demonstrated a capacity for growth and, more importantly, a capacity for managing it,' Mr Harvey said.

The dividend rises 20 per cent to 14.2p on earnings per share that were up from 27.3p to 37.4p. The shares fell 12p to 813p.