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Unipart announces 2021 financial results

Unipart Group, one of Europe’s leading manufacturing, logistics, and consulting businesses, has announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2021.

  • Revenue increased by 4.4%
  • Commitment to UN Race to Zero campaign
  • Reduced CO2 emissions from its sites by 36%.
  • Unipart to run the new, custom-built Jaguar Land Rover Global Parts Logistics Centre
  • UK Rail Research and Innovation Network hub opened in Doncaster 
  • Advanced Supply Chain Institute opened in Oxford
  • Sword of Honour awards for world-class safety and the Chief Adjudicator’s award for recording the highest audit score of the year from all organisations

Despite unprecedented uncertainty in global markets, Group turnover increased to £821.6m (2020: £786.7m), delivering positive earnings with Group profit before interest, tax, and defined pension costs at £13.7m (2020: £19.7m).

Commenting on the results, Unipart Chairman and Group Chief Executive John Neill said:

“The last two years have seen a period of unprecedented upheaval in global markets on several fronts, which has resulted in huge demands for businesses to demonstrate agility like never before. Because Unipart has a diversified portfolio of companies in multiple markets, multiple geographies, and multiple sectors with multiple customers, we have been able to report in 2021 we increased our turnover, continued to invest in our business and remained profitable at an operational level, delivering growth when many sectors have seen a contraction.

“Many of our customers have faced unparalleled disruption, triggered by a combination of the UK exit from the EU, global shortages of semiconductors, and the ongoing pandemic. Against this backdrop Unipart has maintained exceptional levels of service, adapting to the ever-changing conditions to provide our customers with competitive advantage. We continue to strengthen and grow our business with many of our customers having remained with us for decades, as they recognise the value we bring in driving continuous improvement through The Unipart Way.

“Our focus in 2021 was the protection of our people and serving our customers in delivering continued record levels of service for many of our clients. We are now looking to the future and to the new post-pandemic world. Our priority is three-fold ‘Go Digital. Go Green. Go Faster.’ 

“We’ve continued our Industry 4.0 transformation with a growing range of digital products and services. We established Unipart Technologies Group with a specific focus on developing digital products and innovative solutions to meet market needs. 

“Working with extensive engineering capabilities, the team has developed new technology for the rail industry to allow predictive maintenance – reducing failures and enhancing safety. 

“Our digital experts have developed and deployed a wide range of products in Unipart sites. We are now offering our customers a range of digital products and services to improve their performance and efficiency. This portfolio of products includes end-to-end workflow transformation, warehouse management, forecasting, and simulation tools designed to solve complex problems with simple solutions. 

“Further to this, our MetLase joint venture, together with specialists in our digital teams and logistics experts, began development of an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) for driving efficiencies within our distribution centres.

“We have a strong track record for our focus on the environment which has resulted in numerous awards such as the Globe of Honour from the British Safety Council. We increased our activities last year as Unipart pledged its commitment to the UN Race To Zero campaign to make Unipart carbon neutral by 2030, and carbon net zero by 2050.

“Our success is entirely dependent on the skills and enthusiasm of our team of well-trained, highly-motivated people. The Unipart culture is dependent on all our people who identify opportunities daily to ‘go the extra mile’ for their customers and deliver value through innovation and creative problem solving.”

Business growth

In 2021, Unipart Logistics secured a five-year contract to run the new, custom-built Jaguar Land Rover Global Parts Logistics Centre at Appleby Magna in Leicestershire. Under the contract, Unipart will provide aftermarket parts logistics for both the Jaguar and Land Rover luxury automotive brands. The operation will be housed at a new two million square foot campus, one of the largest UK warehouse developments for a single customer.

Unipart won two more contracts with Jaguar Land Rover in North America, a five-year deal to support the brand’s expansion into a new New Jersey aftermarket site, and a three-year contract to run aftermarket customer services for the brand’s retailer network in the U.S. and Canada.

Unipart extended its contract with Q Cells, one of the world´s largest and most recognised manufacturers of high-efficiency solar panel technology. Unipart Logistics provides warehousing and integrated distribution solutions to more than 260 Q Cell customers across the UK, Ireland, and mainland Europe.

Unipart Rail and McCulloch Group launched the first prototype of the new industry-changing TRT-e, a zero-emissions version of the Trac Rail Transposer, the safest and most versatile rail handling machine on the infrastructure.

Serck Motorsport, a Unipart company, expanded its highly-successful racing services into the US. Developed over a decade in partnership with top-tier racing teams, the Serck Motorsport automotive cooling service and manufacturing business opened a site in Race City, North Carolina.

Digital

Unipart aims to be at the forefront of The Fourth Industrial Revolution in its sector through the convergence of digital technologies. Several years ago we partnered with Coventry University to create a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME). We have begun work on a significant expansion of that facility, which provides undergraduate engineering students with the opportunity to pair their formal education with hands-on experience

We opened two additional centres of excellence in 2021. The UK Rail Research and Innovation Network hub, a £92m partnership between academia and industry, was launched at Unipart Rail headquarters in Doncaster. It is another example of where we are supporting ground-breaking engagement between industry leaders and universities to leverage digital capability, and complementary expertise to drive innovation in the industry.

In our logistics sector, Unipart is leading the thinking about the future of its supply chains and how it can continue to serve customers better than anyone else in the future by creating the Advanced Supply Chain Institute. The Institute is a showcase for Unipart’s digital products and services and a cutting-edge, multi-purpose learning space in Unipart House – the headquarters in Oxford. It opened in November alongside Unipart’s new, state of the art conferencing facility.

These centres of excellence enable Unipart to raise the digital quotient of its own people, apply digital technologies across the Group, and share them with new and existing customers providing a platform for continuous innovation.

Sustainability

In 2021, Unipart publicly announced its commitment to the UN Race to Zero Campaign, demonstrating the highest level of ambition to reduce carbon emissions. Unipart has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon net zero by 2050.

During 2021, Unipart reduced waste produced on sites by more than 10%, switched to 100% renewable electricity, removed more than 8,000 tonnes of carbon, and reduced CO2 emissions from its sites by 36%.

Unipart Logistics achieved its highest-ever, five-star certification of 96.1% in the British Safety Council Environmental Sustainability audit across its sites, as well as winning the prestigious Globe of Honour. This is the ninth consecutive year the British Safety Council has awarded Unipart a five-star rating, the benchmark of organisations going above and beyond in this field, underlining Unipart’s commitment to be carbon net zero by 2050. 

Unipart Logistics enhanced its fleet of sustainable vehicles across the UK with the aim of creating a long-term carbon neutral fleet. The new environmentally-friendly vehicles offer the lowest level of carbon emissions to date and are being rolled out for dedicated use within the NHS Supply Chain.

Awards

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.

Unipart and the NHS Supply Chain were crowned winners of the prestigious New Facility Award at the 2021 Logistics Awards. The award marks the successful opening of a new state-of-the-art facility for NHS Supply Chain in Suffolk Park near Bury St Edmunds, which was part of an ambitious transformation and growth strategy designed to deliver benefits and savings back to the NHS, whilst ensuring supply chain resilience during an unprecedented year in 2020.

Unipart was the proud recipient of the Outsource Partner of the Year Award at the 2021 Excellence in Customer Service Awards presented by Business Intelligence Group, after assessing nominations from across the globe. 

The award recognised Unipart’s Retailer Customer Support team in the USA, who have continuously demonstrated exceptional customer and retailer support, delivering performance levels including 99.5% accessibility and 100% queries resolved in less than six hours, whilst consistently delivering savings for Unipart customers.

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