Logistics firm Europa Worldwide in Dartford celebrates 50 years in business
A haulage firm boss has said his business is in the best shape in its 50-year history as the nation moves towards Brexit.
Andrew Baxter said Dartford-based Europa Worldwide is in a strong position to take advantage of leaving the EU and other trading opportunities after investment and restructing since he acquired the firm in 2013.
Established in the East End in 1966, today the company operates from a ?30 million logistics hub at Albion Road and employs 600 people across 11 sites in the UK and one in Hong Kong.
Europa Worldwide owner and managing director Andrew Baxter
Mr Baxter, who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU, said: “Our business model has created long-term stability for the company.
“We have had to swallow some bitter pills to restructure the business but these changes were necessary to secure its future growth.
“Our focus now is on greater profitability and expansion.
That will be through organic growth and we will consider suitable acquisitions in the medium to long term if they strategically fit with our ambitions.”
Since taking over the business, Mr Baxter has grown turnover from ?47 million to ?100 million this year.
He moved it to its 26,368sq m facility in Dartford in 2015, moving from its former head office in Erith.
Mr Baxter said Brexit is a great opportunity for the haulage industry.
Andrew Baxter campaigned for Britain to leave the EU
He said: “At a time when many businesses are inward looking and retrenching after the EU referendum, we will embrace the opportunities.
“We are a vital component in the supply chain of many businesses in the UK and abroad and it’s important we continue to work hard on behalf of our customers to make their operations more successful.
“Europa was built on trade with our European partners, and half a century down the line it is still an important market for us.
“But we are also forging new business opportunities in new and emerging markets and celebrating our 50th anniversary is a great way to see how far we have come in a relatively short space of time.
Europa Worldwide’s headquarters in Dartford
“Our employees have played a major role in creating this success and their continued support and hard work will ensure a great future for the company.”
Europa began its life half a century ago above a bookmakers in the East End of London.
The owner, Adrian Chambers, was a professional racing car driver who found it hard to find a company who would ship cars and parts between the UK and Italy.
At that time, there were no motorways across France and Italy and no roll-on-roll off ferries, which meant trucks had to be craned on as deck cargo at Southampton.