Tuffnells has strategic review into losses

Jon Bunting is to be interim Chief Executive at Connect Group. He is to conduct a strategic review of the company’s freight division Tuffnells thanks to its current struggles.

The strategic review is to consider the actions and investments required to create a sustainable recovery for Tuffells. According to Connect Group, “As CEO of Connect’s other core business Smiths News, where he has been part of the team for more than 25 years and held the position of CEO for two years, Jon has overseen continued strong financial performance. He brings a wealth of strategic and logistics experience to the role and a deep understanding of Connect Group’s businesses.”

The current Connect Group CEO Jos Opdeweegh has stepped down. He was originally appointed in July 2018.

For the year ending 31 August 2019, Tuffnells saw turnover fall 6.4% to £164.6 million, and adjusted operating losses of £14.1 million, a fall of £9.1 million on last year.

Parcel volumes at Tuffnells have fallen, even while a large proportion of depot level operating costs being fixed. This has resulted in continuing losses in the second half of the year.

At Connect Group as a whole, it saw turnover grow 4.3% to £1.47 billion. Pre-tax profits fell 18.3% to £23.2 million.

Connect Group chairman Gary Kennedy said: “In a challenging year, we have been resolute in pursuing a recovery plan that balanced improvements to profitability, with necessary investment and prudent capital management.”

“The turnaround of Tuffnells remains our most pressing challenge. The strategic review of that business reflects our focus on delivering improvement and removing its impact on overall group performance.

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