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Gloucestershire Business News

Evri posts lower profits

With sales for UK number one delivery firm Evri (which was previously branded Hermes) dropping just 1.4% in the last year, you could be forgiven for thinking profits would still be pretty tidy.

But despite a post-pandemic return to retail habits that saw that modest downward nudge for trade, profits for the delivery company fell 47% to just under £81m.

Latest accounts filed at Companies House reveal the fiscal toll on Evri's move to pay out more than £8m in back pension payments which are being made to 6,000 drivers. The move was encouraged by pressure from the retirement savings watchdog and the GMB Union.

In the context of the payout, Evri said its profit total marked "a reasonable performance in the context of challenging trading conditions" although in contrast to £150m passed to investors in the previous year, it has not issued a dividend.

Despite facing higher costs on energy, fuel and wages as well as sourcing suitable drivers, Evri's volume of parcels it handled remains 70% up on pre-pandemic trading.

And in more positive news for the brand, which began life as the Grattan Mail Order in 1974, it has just announced a £3m investment in electric fleet options and the newly permitted longer HGVs.

The fleet spend is just timely, says the company, as it prepares for its busiest ever peak period, delivering up to 3.5 million parcels on the busiest pre-Christmas days.

David Landy, head of fleet for EVRI said: "We're excited get our hands on our first permanent electric HGV. I'm really proud of the investment our business continues to make in more sustainable vehicles, and I can't wait to see what this vehicle can do in a highly demanding environment.

"We'll be closely monitoring its performance so we can explore which other routes might be suitable for this kind of vehicle. Many of our routes require an extensive range to maintain efficiency of the parcel journey, so it's the toughest area to decarbonise."

Delivery has also been taken of 43 long-body rigid HGVs, which are 10m long rather than existing 8.5m stock, and thereby increase the capacity by 25% from 16 to 20 pallets.

Mr Landy added: "As a result, these vehicles, which will be in operation by the end of October will significantly reduce the number of vehicles and miles on the road.

● In line with its net-zero 2035 target, currently more than 44% of Evri's company cars are low carbon including electric, hybrid and plug in cars. All Evri company cars will be low carbon by 2027, the firm says, while in 2024 the company says it will "continue to explore options for improving its charging infrastructure to allow the growth of its existing low carbon fleet, which consists of 44 vehicles running on HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), 167 electric vans and growing fleet of e-cargo bikes".

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