UK freight and logistics firm Xpediator is closing in on acquisitions as it seeks to branch out of its core markets with a £4m warchest.

The funds come from its recent initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

Chief executive Stephen Blyth told The Loadstar today that at least two freight forwarding takeovers could be completed by the end of the year.

“During our roadshow to investors before the listing we disclosed three targets – two of these are progressing well and we should complete them in the next quarter,” he said adding that three further targets had also been identified.

“Any acquisition has to have strategic fit for us, with clear synergies, and we also have to make sure they are selling for the right reason,” he added.

The company today reported its six-month results, which saw revenues up 56% to £49.1m, compared with £31.5m in the first half of last year, while adjusted operating grew 24% to £1.3m.

The increases were largely driven by organic growth across all activities, contribution from EMT and “increased focus” by the freight forwarding division on full-load deliveries.

Its present freight forwarding business is Delamode, which focuses mostly on the overland trade corridor between the UK and central and eastern Europe, and it has also developed the e-commerce EshopWedrop solution to provide logistics to online retail sales out of the UK to Eastern Europe.

Mr Blyth says Xpediator is looking to franchise the brand across Europe and then to the Middle East and North Africa.

“Management is seeking courier companies with the ability to provide final-mile delivery and the marketing required to develop our ecommerce operations. Once we have established a more comprehensive franchise network across our main markets, we believe EshopWedrop will represent a compelling offer to major retailers,” he said.

He also said that it was also looking to increase Delamode’s capabilities in the sea freight and intercontinental freight forwarding.

The group’s Affinity transport services division, which provides bundled fuel and toll cards and financial and support services for hauliers in southern Europe, brought in revenue of £2.2m.

The logistics and warehousing division, which operates distribution hubs in the UK and southern Europe brought in £7.7m in revenues, and includes the recently acquired fashion logistics business EMT, which Mr Blyth said was now fully integrated. In the first half of last year Xpediator saw revenues of £4.7m from warehousing and logistics.

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