Laurie Dealer gears up for Comic Relief

Never one to miss out on the fun, Laurie Dealer is gearing up for Comic Relief by heading into town to do a stint with a charity bucket.

Mrs Dealer, and her intrepid members of the Sowing Circle, will be camped out for the day collecting loose coins, shrapnel and change from unsuspecting citizens milling around the myriad of shops, supermarkets, public houses and fast-food chains that litter the 'local metropolis'.

Good luck to everyone taking part. Laurie Dealer will donate an extra £10 to the bucket if Laurie Dealer is spotted and recognised while in disguise.

Jobs a good un.

Reed Boardall Transport returns to profit

Reed Boardall Transport has returned to profit after several years of losses, posting a pre-tax profit of £768,001 for the year ending 31 March 2010, compared to a pre-tax loss of £652,262 in 2009. Turnover for the period dipped slightly to £30.2m from £30.3m.

A number of new initiatives introduced in 2009 to improve efficiency, including the roll-out of a bespoke vehicle tracking system, contributed to the turnaround of the group's transport arm.

Group finance director Marcus Boardall says: "Credit has to be given to our team of hard-working staff who have responded to a number of new initiatives with enthusiasm and improved the utilisation of the fleet significantly."

Reed Boardall Cold Storage boosted turnover 51.5% to £35.3m for the 12 months to 31 March 2010, up from £23.3m in 2009, with pre-tax profit rising 46% to £5.7m from £3.9m the previous year. This is largely due to the division benefitting from the first full year of a major extension to its cold store in Boroughbridge, which has capacity for 112,000 pallets at -25°C.

"We believe it is the largest facility of its kind in the UK and it has been more than 80% full throughout the year. The increased volume and the efficiencies of a larger store have led to the improvement in the division's profit," explains Boardall.

Full results for the Reed Boardall Group, which include turnover from Reed Boardall's vehicle servicing and parts business, ended the year with a £50.9m (2009: £49.1m) turnover and pre-tax profit up substantially at £6m (2009: £2.8m).

"The directors are optimistic about the prospects for the group, although it seems likely that pressure on prices will continue for some time, making cost efficiency the only means of maintaining profit," says Boardall.