The company behind a logistics firm with its origins in Cumbria says it has "traded successfully" throughout the lockdown.

However, Eddie Stobart Logistics' parent company GreenWhitestar Acquisitions said debt had grown during the first half of the year.

For the six-months ending May 31 net debt at GWSA – which owns a 49 per cent stake in Eddie Stobart Logistics – stood at £236 million, compared to £14.5m on November 30.

GWSA said it had turnover over £407m for the first six months of its financial year and posted earnings before interest and taxes of £8m for the same period.

GWSA said it had successfully completed phase one of the business re-organisation, which had resulted in a “significant reduction in the cost base and the long-term property liabilities”.

It also said it had made “important investments”, including the acquisition of the Eddie Stobart and Stobart brands, which it said would deliver “significant future cost savings” and would allow the group to further differentiate the business from its competitors.

GWSA said Eddie Stobart had benefited from “strong exposure” to the fast-moving consumer goods and grocery sectors as well as a growing demand for warehousing.

It said its iForce retail logistics and e-commerce focused division had “continued to grow” and it was continuing to benefit from the move to online sales driven by lockdown.

Last month Eddie Stobart announced that for the financial year 2019 the company made a pre-tax loss of £238.9m, compared to a pre-tax loss of £22.3m in 2018.