A surge in Chinese truck sales to the Commonwealth trimmed turnover at Northampton-based operator and used truck dealer EM Rogers last year.
The haulier reported turnover down 6% to £18.5m for the year to 31 January 2016 (2015: £19.8m).
Joint MD David Rogers blamed the fall on the increasing demand for Chinese vehicles. “The Commonwealth market that we sell to hasn’t been buying second-hand trucks from the UK as much as buying new Chinese trucks; lesser copies of Volvo or MAN, for example.
It looks like the Commonwealth is giving them a go,” he said.
Rogers said that while the vehicles look similar to models from leading manufacturers, their durability remains to be seen.
“If you were to look from 10m away and you saw a Volvo, or a Chinese copy of one, they look similar. But the proof will be in the pudding if they’re still going strong in a few years,” he said.
“At some point, the Chinese will get it right, but at the moment you don’t know what their longevity is.”
Despite the fall in turnover, EM Rogers reported a 143% profit increase to £2m. This, added Rogers, was brought about by a strong euro and lower diesel prices during the year.
However, he added that the UK’s decision to leave the EU and the subsequent fall of the pound against the euro could “cost the business a lot of money” in the longer term, but added that the company was confident it could meet the challenges Brexit might present.