Gefco profits surged by more than 32% last year, despite only marginal gains in revenue.

The company cited a reduction in fixed costs as a key driver of growth in 2016.

Revenues grew just 1.3%, for the second year in succession, to €4.2bn, on the back of strong automotive performances. These gains were reflected in EBITDA, which shot up from €130.8m in 2015 to €172.8m.

A company statement claimed: “Significant improvement in profitability is the result of a policy to optimise purchases and continue to reduce fixed costs.”

Chairman Luc Nadal said 2016 had been an “excellent” year for Gefco Group, with the results confirming “strategic choices” in terms of commercial and operational focus.

“These results reflect our ability to add value at each stage of our industrial customers’ supply chain, enhancing their competitiveness,” said Mr Nadal.

“Furthermore, having redefined our offering, we have expanded our industrial footprint with new customers, while strengthening partnerships with historical customers.”

Last year, Gefco also integrated Dutch freight forwarder IJS Global, expanding its reach in China, South Asia, Australia and the US.

The company said the increase in profits was in line with a performance plan initiated in mid-2014, focusing on greater cost flexibility and an asset-light business model.

Over the course of the 2016 financial year, the company signed agreements with Renault Nissan, VWG Audi, Toyota, BMW and Talgo; and also signed an €8bn five-year agreement with PSA Group.

The PSA deal will see Gefco manage the company’s supply chain, including the sourcing of component production and assembly plants to distributing finished vehicles and spare parts.

In line with its diversification strategy, the company signed contracts with customers involved in sectors including hi-tech and home equipment.

“In 2016, strategic new customers chose to work with Gefco, which demonstrates our attractiveness and our expertise in optimising complex supply chains on a global scale,” said Mr Nadal.

“In 2017, our aim is to grow our finished vehicles logistics business, while continuing to develop the overland, warehousing and reusable packaging, freight forwarding and 4PL expertise by testing new technologies and concluding new partnerships.”