Family firm sees profits rise by 73 per cent

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

WESTMORLAND Ltd, the award-winning motorway services operator, has seen profits rise by 73 per cent.

The family-run business, which runs the Tebay services on the M6, reported a turnover of almost £50m in its latest financial accounts – up nearly £3m.

Pre-tax profits were up from £857,000 in 2012 to £1.49m on a turnover of £49.6m. The increase was attributed in part to higher income from the company’s investments.

Westmorland, which has more than 500 employees, owns and operates the northbound and southbound Tebay Services on the M6 as well as J38 Truck Stop, Westmorland Hotel and the Rheged Centre.

After announcing the results, managing director Laurence King said that planned expansion in the South West had the potential to double the size of the business.

Westmorland is currently developing its second site in Gloucestershire. The new location between junctions 11a and 12 of the M5 is set to open in June this year. According to the accounts, a total of £12.6m was spent on the project during the year.

Mr King said: “We're very pleased with the progress of the existing businesses as across the group we've increased sales, improved margins and maintained overheads – all while building our new site in Gloucestershire.

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“The Gloucestershire site is on time and on budget mainly because of the great weather last summer. It's a big step for us given that we've been in Cumbria for such a long time.

“The motorway traffic on the M5 is double that at Tebay so if we achieve the same rates it will more than double our business.”

Mr King said the company was also open to other business opportunities.

“We believe very strongly in our brand. We're unique on the network and we focus on local employment and sourcing. That's why Tebay has been so successful.”

Westmorland Ltd is owned by Dunning family, which opened Tebay Services in 1972. The current chief executive, Sarah Dunning, is the daughter of the founders.

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