Despite unprecedented global challenges Unipart Group, one of Europe’s leading manufacturing, logistics, and consulting businesses, has reported Group turnover was broadly in line with the previous year at £786.7 million (2019: £799.2 million), resulting in underlying Group profit before interest and taxation slightly lower than the previous year at £16.1 million.
Unipart played a major role in the UK’s early response to the pandemic. MetLase, its joint venture with Rolls-Royce, and its Midlands factory created a working prototype ventilator, and commissioned a dedicated production line just 10 days from the Cabinet Office setting the Ventilator Challenge UK challenge. Of the hundreds of companies to accept the challenge, MetLase was one of only five projects identified by the National Audit Office as being viable for production.
Unipart Group Chairman and Chief Executive John Neill said: “Our profitable performance in the face of the biggest upheaval to the global economy in generations illustrates that Unipart remains a highly responsive and agile business with a strong basis to consolidate and grow in the future.
“At the beginning of the year we set three challenges for the Group: to protect our people, to protect our processes, and to protect the flow of products and services for our customers.
“Our people responded with care and commitment, using the tools and techniques of The Unipart Way and our digital capability to scale up our operations to deliver essential services to all our customers. The NHS Supply Chain team delivered the best ever operational and safety performance despite the challenges of Covid.
“Overall the business maintained strong performance throughout the uncertainties of the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the European Union, maintaining a strong cash reserve while continuing our commercial growth. With a tentative roadmap out of the pandemic now established, we look forward to leveraging our digital capability to further build on our future success.”
Despite unprecedented demand, in Unipart’s second year of managing the logistics operation for the NHS Supply Chain overall performance levels increased across the network, with the service levels to NHS Trusts being at a record high throughout the pandemic.
Early in the year Unipart Logistics announced a contract with Jaguar Land Rover to provide logistics services at its new Battery Assembly Centre in the West Midlands.
Unipart Logistics extended its strong partnership with Kubota UK by a further five years. In the US, Unipart Logistics won a five-year contract extension with Pro:Direct Sports, the world’s largest online specialist sports retailer, with a planned 33% growth in warehouse and distribution services over the next period.
In October 2020, the Group acquired Comms Design Limited, a high-tech design and manufacturing company specialising in electronic products primarily for the rail industry.