Notts entrepreneur doubles size of business in just four years

Andrew Baxter, Europa Worldwide Group


Four years since logistics business Europa Worldwide Group was acquired by Nottingham entrepreneur Andrew Baxter, the company is almost double the size it was in 2013.

Andrew was previously a joint owner of family business Nottingham headquartered RH Freight which he and his family sold to Kuehne + Nagel. Following the sale, Andrew acquired Europa in 2013, which at the time had a turnover of £76m. This year, turnover will be in the region of £145m and through a combination of organic growth and at least one acquisition, the company expects turnover to exceed £200m next year.

The company, which has a branch in West Bridgford, has recently reported its latest financial accounts (to year end Dec 31st 2016), showing that the leading independent logistics operator increased its turnover to £116m and profits to £2.3m, with staff numbers increasing to 650.

Since Andrew acquired the business in August 2013, he has initiated some significant front-end restructuring.

He said: “For a large part of the last four years, growth was not the primary objective. However, now that the restructuring is complete, growing the scale of the business, whilst achieving satisfactory levels of profitability, is the core strategy.

In the last four years, the business has expanded the reach of its Road operation across key European countries by selecting the very best partners to work with, has developed its Air and Sea teams as competitive arms of the business and has invested in its Warehouse facilities, attracting major retail brands from across the globe.

Andrew said: “As a result of the unfaltering commitment, dedication and passion of the team, we are now placed very strongly. We’ve made significant changes to ensure Europa is in the best possible position for growth and to secure its future in a highly competitive global marketplace.

“The plan now is to continue to expand through organic growth and acquisitions, initially by buying a £20-60m turnover freight business within the next 12 months. Our goal is then to hit the £200m turnover mark by the end of next year. Obviously, these are very ambitious targets, however, we believe that we have the foundations in place to make it happen.”

Key milestones already achieved in the last four years include the creation and implementation of Europa’s brand new, bespoke IT system Leonardo – an investment of more than £2m – the launch of many new products and daily lines, a fiercely competitive recruitment drive to attract the very best talent in the industry and a focus on developing all of the business’s international markets.

Andrew added: “We believe that we will continue to have strong organic growth of around 25 per cent across the business this year and we are planning to start developing additional lines to the continent directly from our 10 regional depots.

“Four years really have flown by and we’ve achieved a lot in such a short space of time. Team work, careful planning and a commitment to doing what’s right, rather than what’s easy, has got us this far and we are confident that the next four years and beyond can be just as fruitful.”

Europa Worldwide Group is a privately-owned operator which delivers air, sea, road and warehousing services, operating across 11 sites in the UK plus Hong Kong and is represented in 100 countries.