Food price deflation, intense competition and changing consumer habits have been blamed for a downturn in turnover and profit for Bestway Wholesale.
Figures released for the year ended 30 June 2016 show turnover down 1.1% to £2.17bn. This was in line with the performance of the broader wholesale sector.
Profit before tax decreased to £19.7m, driven – said Bestway – by “a conscious decision to invest in margin to support the independent retail sector against the increased competition from the multiples”. Bestway also expects investment in its Foodservice, Symbol and Club operations to translate into a “more positive” trading performance going forward.
Zameer Choudrey CBE (pictured), Bestway Group chief executive, said: “2016 has been a year of consolidation for the Group. Despite difficult business conditions in the UK, we have maintained our market share across the Wholesale and Pharmacy businesses.”
This was the first full year of trading of Well Pharmacy within the Bestway Group, following its purchase from the Co-op and subsequent rebranding. Turnover to the end of June was £802.7m, with a pre-tax profit of £27.5m.
Overall, the Group’s turnover increased by 9% to £3.28bn, with a rise in profit of 6% to £413.3m. This was put down to an improvement in the underlying performance of the Group’s banking and cement businesses.