Unipart's transformation from a pure car parts manufacturer and distributor to a specialist logistics operator is picking up pace.
The company, headed by chief executive John Neill has been diversifying since it was axed as Rover's after-sales partner by John Towers' Phoenix consortium in 2001.
The strategy is paying off in terms of sales and profits, according to annual figures released by the Oxford-based group yesterday.
They showed that total turnover, including contributions from joint ventures and associates, rose by four per cent to #1.157 billion in 2005.
Pretax profits, after exceptional items of #27.3 million, rose to #50.2 million from a re-stated figure of #17.4 million for 2004.
Unipart said the prior year figures were restated following a revaluation of its freehold land and buildings.
The company remains a major manufacturer and distributor of car parts and counts Jaguar among its customers in this field.
But it is increasingly carrying out out logistics operations for a range of blue chip clients including Vodafone, Boots, Homebase, Halfords and Jessops.
Unipart does not publish breakdowns of how its different divisions are performing, but industry sources believe that logistics now accounts for some 60 per cent of turnover.
"Automotive is still growing at Unipart, but nowhere near as fast as logistics," one said last night.
A new development recently saw Vodafone award Unipart the contract to operate its cell phone handset repair business, which is due to create 350 jobs in the Nuneaton area.
Mr Neill said the strong growth seen last year had consolidated the group's position as a supplier of "world-class third party logistics services".
Unipart was using its years of experience of getting replacement car parts to dealers and garages quickly to provide services to companies looking to maintain their competitiveness by cutting their distribution costs in the teeth of soaring fuel prices.
Asos.com, a web-based fashion retailer targeting 18-34 year-olds has recently signed up Unipart to distribute its goods.
The company has also won a major contract to supply 250 branches of Norwich Union's Kwikfit.
The move into logistics has been backed by a #500,000 investment in a system that enables customers to design their own supply-chain operations.
"Our customer base represents some of the fastest growing businesses in their sectors and they demand agility from us as well as world-class performance," said Mr Neill.
"It is a measure of their confidence in us that we are able to move into areas not usually associated with traditional third party logistics.
"The hadset repair business for Vodafone is such a case in point."
Unipart was created in 1987 by a management buyout from British Leyland led by Mr Neill. The company employs 10,000 people and 55 per cent of its shares are held by employees and the pension fund.