Unipart Group, one of Europe’s leading manufacturing, logistics, and consulting businesses, has announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2022.
Group turnover increased to £917.3m (2021: £821.6m), delivering underlying Group profit before interest and tax of £12.2m (2021: £9.6m).
Significant business growth in 2022 contributed to Unipart’s positive financial results. New Unipart Logistics contracts with JCB and Airbus will see nearly 1,000 people join the company in 2023, and Unipart Manufacturing’s electric vehicle battery production facility joint venture began making battery packs for the new all-electric Lotus Evija hypercar, the most powerful production car in the world.
In October 2022, Darren Leigh was appointed as Unipart Group Chief Executive Officer, taking over the role from John Neill, who remains Unipart Group Executive Chairman.
The Group had a particularly strong Q4 and ended the year in a strong net cash position overall.
Darren Leigh said that Unipart’s strong performance in 2022 resulted from a clear focus on delivering innovative, value-added supply chain solutions for new and existing customers in a challenging business environment.
“Despite the global challenges affecting economies and supply chains, 2022 was a positive year for Unipart, with double-digit revenue and earnings growth across our business. We responded to the economic headwinds with courage and agility, and we start 2023 with a strong orderbook and are ideally placed for long-term sustainable growth.
“We continue to be a proud British company and we continue to invest in the UK. We have a long history of partnering with our customers, and we are delighted to have been awarded a number of contracts in 2022 with both new and existing customers, particularly in the UK. New business wins with JCB and Airbus, and the new Mercia Park aftermarket logistics operation we are opening for Jaguar Land Rover, will see around 2,000 people joining Unipart’s highly engaged workforce this year.
“Unipart’s electric vehicle battery production joint venture Hyperbat announced an exciting new contract to manufacture battery packs for the new all-electric Lotus Evija in Coventry, demonstrating the cutting-edge capability we have in a fast-accelerating sector of the automotive industry.
“Unipart Technologies Group released several products to the market which will enable customers to increase their productivity, safety, and sustainability.
“Our breadth of technology offerings is rapidly increasing, as we continue our journey to become a technology-led supply chain partner of choice.
“Our values and principles guide our culture and decision-making at every level with The Unipart Way at the heart of everything we do, empowering our people to take personal responsibility for identifying new ways to deliver the service excellence for which we are renowned. We look forward to continuing this strong growth in 2023 and beyond.
Commenting on the results, Unipart Group Executive Chairman John Neill said:
“We established our guiding philosophy, ‘To understand the real and perceived needs of our customers better than anyone else and serve them better than anyone else’ more than four decades ago. It has never been more relevant as we continue to reinvent our business to enable our company, and support our customers to participate successfully in a fast-changing world.
“Decades of unwavering commitment to build and develop The Unipart Way rooted in deep respect for our people has resulted in exceptional employee and customer engagement. We are grateful to our customers for the trust they place in us and the new opportunities they give us.
“Our greatest strength doesn’t appear on the balance sheet. It is the culture we have built together, strongly characterised by our fellow employees, who are keen to embrace change and curious about technology, which in an era of fast developing artificial general intelligence and the transformational opportunities it brings for our colleagues and customers has never been more important.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be in business, and to be in our business as we look forward to continuing our growth and reinvention agenda.”
Unipart has experienced significant growth in 2022 across various sectors, including being named JCB’s supply chain partner for all UK operations and systems. The decision to select Unipart Logistics was based on its experience in delivering supply chain transformation globally, and how it has demonstrated engagement and innovation in driving operational excellence and continuous improvement culture in daily operations.
Unipart Logistics also won a multi-year contract to provide in-plant logistics services to Airbus in the UK, in which it will take on 450 people across production facilities in Broughton and Filton. The expansion of the existing contract with Jaguar Land Rover at their new Mercia Park site opening this year will see a further 1,000 people join Unipart.
Unipart extended its contract with Sky for another two years across all service areas, supporting the full Sky product portfolio with logistics, recycling, call centre, and fleet management services for Sky’s field engineers and UK customers.
Unipart signed a new multi-year contract extension with Three to continue providing logistics and distribution services in the UK. This latest extension with Three takes Unipart beyond its twentieth year of partnership, having supported them since they launched in 2003 as ‘the network that was born to be different’.
Hyperbat, Unipart Manufacturing’s joint venture with WAE Technologies, won a multi-million-pound deal with Lotus to supply battery packs for the new all-electric Evija hypercar. Hyperbat will produce lithium-ion battery packs for the British carmaker for an initial period of three years. The mid-mounted battery pack will support a target output of 2,000PS and will ensure the Lotus Evija can reach 0-62mph in just three seconds, and a top speed of over 200mph.
Unipart is committed to achieving net zero carbon across its supply chain. In 2022, Unipart measured its full carbon footprint for the first time, including emissions from the entire value chain. As a result, Unipart revised its net zero carbon target, bringing this forward by a decade to be net zero carbon by 2040.
To achieve this goal, Unipart has undertaken a number of carbon reduction projects. For example, the company has partially transitioned to consuming Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) instead of diesel, significantly reducing the carbon impact of its fleet. Unipart has also taken in-house some transport services on behalf of the Unipart Rail operations, so that these journeys can also transition to HVO.
In addition, in 2022 Unipart began a 12-month Battery Electric Truck Trial with its NHS Supply Chain customer, with the introduction of 19-tonne fully electric trucks with refrigerated bodies delivering supplies to frontline NHS services.
In 2022, Unipart’s environmental initiatives led to a reduction in CO2 consumption by 20% and water consumption by 10% and resulted in an overall recycling rate of 97%.
Unipart won two prestigious Sword of Honour awards for world-class safety with an additional Chief Adjudicator’s award for recording the highest audit score of the year from all organisations. This takes Unipart’s Sword of Honour award tally to more than 60 since 2011, more than any other organisation in its sectors.
In addition, Unipart was awarded three Gold RoSPA awards for outstanding safety performance.
Unipart further underlined its sustainability credentials, achieving a five-star rating in the British Safety Council Environmental Sustainability audit for the 10th consecutive year, and was awarded the prestigious Globe of Honour for its outstanding environmental management.
Unipart was also named ‘Corporation of the Year’ at the 2022 Automotive Global Awards for its innovative electric vehicle proposition.
The company’s continued commitment to developing people was recognised when Unipart secured a Princess Royal Training Award for outstanding workplace training for the fourth year in a row.