NEW Zealand-based transport and logistics company Move Logistics reported a half-year normalised net loss (after tax) of NZ$1.8 million (before non-controlling interests).

The result for the six months to 31 December 2022 was on the back of a 4% decrease in revenue (compared with the corresponding period in 2021) to NZ$169.5 million in the last six months of last year.

“The result reflects investment into growth initiatives and solid contributions from the Contract Logistics and International businesses, offset by a disappointing result from the Freight business, as the Improvement programme takes longer than originally anticipated to complete,” Move said in a statement to the New Zealand’s Exchange (NZX).

The company said the result follows the contraction of its freight division customer base in 2022 to address margin.

Move said freight rates are now better aligned to the market and it is working to improve efficiency and rebuild the customer base and volumes. Its contract logistics division delivered a revenue result in line with the prior year, while international revenue was up 26% off a smaller base.

The company said its primary focus is resetting and strengthening its “core business”.

“A digital transformation is underway and investment is being made into other growth initiatives including commencing the new oceans operations and expanding MOVE’s footprint in priority customer sectors,” the company said in its NZX statement.

“Economic conditions continued to impact on the business during 1H23, with increasing inflationary pressure, driver shortages, higher absenteeism due to Covid and the impact of adverse weather on customers across a range of sectors including agriculture and infrastructure.”

Move CEO Craig Evans said there is still work to do, but the company is focusing on working its assets smarter, investing in “what matters” and driving returns for the business.

“We recognise that challenging trading conditions will surround us in 2H23, further exasperated after the recent adverse weather events. Our teams have been working tirelessly to ensure the continuation and quick return of our services and networks during this time and our thoughts are with all New Zealanders who have been affected,” he said.

“A tight focus on cost control, excellent customer service, and a culture of innovation and inclusivity will help support our business through the economic cycle. Investment in growth initiatives such as digital transformation and the new trans-Tasman shipping service demonstrates a changing mindset driven by our team”.

Craig Evans was appointed CEO late last year and officially took up the role on 1 February.

Move last year bought a general cargo ship to launch a new trans-Tasman service, which includes a direct call to Tasmania.