Logistics giant Exel - which has a large operation at Hams Hall near Birmingham - yesterday flagged up stronger first-half earnings due to new acquisitions and growth in sea freight.
Exel, which provides global freight and storage, also said new IFRS accounting rules would have little impact on profits. Analysts said the update gave some relief to the stock, which had fallen in the last week on concerns about higher oil prices and slower global growth.
"The overall impression is positive, within expectations," WestLB Equity Markets told clients in a note. Exel shares were up 1.2 per cent at 829 pence following the announcement.
In a statement ahead of its first-half results next month, Exel said it was performing in line with its own expectations and earnings for the year to date were "strongly" ahead of the same period of the previous year. It said operating profit at its contract logistics operations had grown significantly following a strong performance from recent acquisitions, including haulier Tibbett & Britten.
" Excluding Tradeteam, which as expected is significantly down year on year, the overall underlying organic profit growth has been good, particularly in mainland Europe," Exel said in a statement.
Tradeteam is a drinks distribution joint venture between Exel and Molson Coors Brewing Company.
Exel said its freight management operating margins were higher than last year.
International air weight had slowed from high levels last year to increase five per cent in the year so far, while sea freight revenue was strong and up 25 per cent compared with a year ago.