- Clipper Logistics has declared a maiden interim dividend after revenues and adjusted earnings rose in the six months to the end of October.

The company also announced the acquisition of Servicecare Support Services Ltd for £5.7m in cash.

Servicecare is a specialist provider of returns logistics services to consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers. The business, which operates across the United Kingdom from sites in Oldham, Greater Manchester and Barton, Burton-on-Trent, has been trading since 1995 and has a strong client base that includes Argos, Richer Sounds, Panasonic, Shop Direct Group and Tefal. Its wholly owned subsidiary Electrotec International Ltd was acquired by Servicecare in 1999 and trades as a retail supplier, selling refurbished consumer electrical goods.

Clipper's group revenue increased by 20.0% to £111.6m in the first half. Revenue derived from added-value logistics services increased by 23.7% to £76.0 million (2013: £61.4 million), with growth in both e-fulfilment logistics (35.3% higher) and non e-fulfilment services (18.1% higher).

Revenue from commercial vehicle sales and repair services increased by 12.4% to £36.2 million (2013: £32.2 million). The increase was driven primarily by new vehicle sales growth, supplemented by growth in aftersales revenues (servicing and parts).

Group adjusted earnings before interest and tax increased by 28.8% to £5.2m. EBIT growth was achieved in all segments and business activities, with growth of 34.0% in e-fulfilment logistics, 12.3% in non e-fulfilment logistics, and 8.8% in commercial vehicles. Central logistics costs reduced by £0.2 million, whilst head office costs rose by £0.3 million due to Listing-related compliance costs.

Adjusted earnings per share rose29.6% to 3.5 pence (2013: 2.7 pence) and the group has declared a maiden interim dividend of 1.6 pence per share.

Executive chairman Steve Parkin said: "These are the first interim results of Clipper post-IPO, and I am pleased to report that the Group has delivered results in line with the Board's expectations, with strong revenue and profit growth, and good cash conversion. Clipper continues to have a market-leading position in the high-growth area of e-fulfilment logistics, and has seen strong organic growth on existing contracts complemented by the impact of new contract wins.

"Our Boomerang brand, which specialises in the management of returns, has continued to gain traction, and this will be further enhanced by the acquisition of Servicecare, which enables us to extend the Boomerang service to encompass electrical products, as well as clothing and general merchandise. Equally importantly, our non e-fulfilment operations have also continued to deliver significant year-on-year growth, reflecting the innovative approach Clipper takes to deliver solutions that address the needs of our customers. "We are pleased to announce a maiden interim dividend of 1.6 pence per share, which will be paid to shareholders on 31 December 2014.

"We remain confident for the future and look forward to updating our shareholders and the markets throughout the year."

At 8:27am: [LON:CLG] Clipper Logistics share price was +5.88p at 143.13p

Story provided by