Revenue soared to more than £ 1.4 billion at parcel delivery giant Hermes UK as the growth of online retailing during the pandemic led to a sustained increase in demand for its services.
Hermes UK, headquartered in Morley, Leeds, delivers over 640 million parcels per year on behalf of European retailers and has a national park of 6000 ParcelShops and InPost lockers.
Recently filed accounts for Hermes Parcelnet show a turnover of £ 1.45 billion for the 52 weeks to February 27, 2021, up from £ 860 million in 2019/20.
Pre-tax profit also rose to £ 130.8million from £ 43.1million the year before.
In August 2020, it was announced that private equity firm Advent International had reached an agreement to acquire a 75% stake in Hermes UK, as well as a 25% stake in Hermes Germany, from the Otto Group.
In their report accompanying the results, the directors said: “The year under review has been an exercise of significant uncertainties and challenges as the nation and the company have adapted to the impacts of Covid-19. The most significant has been a sustained increase in the demand for online delivery services from our retail (B2C) and end-user (C2C) customers both during periods of national lockdowns and into the summer of 2020, when ‘no essential retail stores were in operation.
“Our response to the pandemic has involved a number of phases, with our primary and overriding goal being the safety of our workforce and their dependents through the introduction of COVID safe work practices and delivery without contact. “
To provide additional capacity in 2020/21, Hermes stepped up operations at its peak backup site in Nuneaton and advanced four depot replacements.
The company also developed a bespoke in-store service to increase retailers’ online warehousing capacity, increased the number of lockers in its out-of-home domain to approximately 1,200, and doubled the number of couriers in its network. to about 26,000.
The directors added, “Along with our response to Covid, we have continued to grow the business and further improve our customer offering with a focus on new product development and ongoing technological improvements.
“Coupled with our flexible and scalable operating model, this has enabled us to add new blue chip customers to the list, increase our share of existing customer portfolio and successfully grow into new markets, by particularly the volume coming in from China for delivery to UK consumers and peer to peer deliveries through partnerships with online marketplaces such as Vinted and Depop.
“This has been accompanied by further progress in improving the UK’s only union-backed independent courier network, which offers paid holidays and a guaranteed national minimum wage while maintaining the flexibility of working patterns that are so valuable for couriers as part of our Independent Plus program (SE + model).
Earlier this year, Hermes announced it was hiring 1,400 positions at a new parcel distribution center in Barnsley, which is expected to be completed in September 2022.
The UK branch of Hermes was established in 1974 as the Grattan Mail Order in Bradford.