Potter adds Clipper Group as tenant for Selby site

Ripon, North Yorks multi-modal specialist Potter Group has secured Clipper Group as a valuable new tennant for a vacant 310,000ft² warehouse at its rail-connected Selby site on a lease of over five years. The warehouse was left empty following the administration of soft furnishings retailer Rosebys in September 2008 in the seventh year of a 15-year contract.

Potter Group says that as the warehouse was fitted out for textile distribution, it made sense to rent it to a company in that sector, rather than stripping it out and installing normal racking.

Business development director Stuart Taylor says Potter Group is very pleased with the deal. "We are delighted to be able to lease the property in the current climate, it also means we will get spin-off benefits, as some of the product coming into the site is containerised so makes use of our terminal facility.

"It's a good piece of collaboration between the two companies and means the building is used for its intend-ed purpose."

Tony Mannix, MD of Clipper Logistics, says the firm is currently refurbishing the warehouse to add hanging garment storage and it will open in September. Two clients are already committed to the shared-user site and he expects it to be 65% full when it goes live.

Mannix says the ability to offer rail freight to its customers was a major selling point he estimates that up to 2,500 container loads could be brought to the site by rail each year.

Meanwhile, Clipper Group's logistics arm enjoyed a 35% boost in operating profit in the year to 30 April to £7.7m before exceptional costs, on turnover up 13% to £94.5m.

Group finance director David Hodkin says current trading remains "very encouraging", despite the economic conditions. "We're continuing to win market share and we've got lots of new contracts coming on stream in June to September."

RHP Telford had £1.4m deficiency

The administrators of RHP Telford, which went bust in November last year (MT 4 Dec), say the firm will not be able to realise enough money to pay its unsecured creditors, according to documents just filed at Companies House.

With unsecured creditors alone estimated at £488,603 and sales of the firm's assets raising barely half that amount, the total deficiency is in the region of £1.4m. Inevitably, HM Revenue & Customs is the largest creditor - owed £142,000 - with other haulage firms, many of them fellow members of the Pall-Ex network, owed several thousand pounds each.

The administrators trace the firm's demise back to the loss of major customers in 2006. The report says that although the company succeeded in replacing some of the lost work, "the new customers were less profitable and did not fully compensate for the lost sales volume".

Although the company restructured its finances and its directors were "confident" of its continued survival, as fuel prices began to rise in late 2007 and throughout 2008, this hit the firm's profitability, with the recession the final nail in the coffin.

Pamela Peregrine, a former director of RHP Telford, set up new firm RHP Transport in December 2008.