The Bestway Group today (January 13) announced its financial results for the year ended June 30, 2015. The Group’s annual turnover increased by 20% to £ 3.06bn from £2.55bn in 2014. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2015 was up 39.9% to £373.8m from £267.1m in 2014.
Turnover in the wholesale business was down slightly at £2.27bn as compared to £2.37bn in the corresponding period last year. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2015 was £44.6m as compared to £49.2m in 2014.
“The year under review has been a busy and challenging year for the company as we maintained our focus on the three pillars of Symbol & Club, Foodservice and Digital,” said Bestway Group CEO Zameer Choudrey.
“During the year, the Best-one and Xtra Local retail club membership increased to 4,300 stores with a combined turnover of £650 million. The Group is further investing in this area by continuing our crusade on developing a market leading chilled, fresh and retail foodservice offering to help our customers compete, as well as doubling the number of business development executives.
“Bestway Batleys Foodservice signed on new contracts including Accuro Catering, Warwickshire Colleges and East Lancashire & Birmingham NHS hospitals. We were also re-awarded two 4-year contracts worth over £24 million.”
Choudrey continued: “Last year we became the first wholesaler to introduce a fully functional mobile app. In a year, the app has been downloaded over 12,000 times. Net sales from the app during the year averaged £2 million per month. We also introduced i-beacon technology in our depots that transmits promotional offers to customers’ smart phones as they shop in the depot. At our Abbey Road Depot we have become the first wholesaler to introduce Apple Pay which allows our customers to pay using their iPhone or iWatch.
“During the year we completed the installation of 12 dedicated world food hubs in the depots that serve multicultural communities. We also created a multiple account division within Bestway Direct to service the supply requirements of multi-site forecourt and convenience operators. In order to facilitate our customers and improve their cash flows, we removed all charges for credit card transactions and delivery surcharges. This underlines Bestway’s commitment to the wholesale sector and reiterates the Group’s mission of “Building Business for the Independents’”.
Elsewhere, the Group’s other businesses, cement manufacture and banking, did well, and the Group’s acquisition of the Co-Op’s pharmacy business was paying dividends, he said.
“The acquisition, for £641.3 million, was completed in October 2014. The Group had been searching for a target that was asset backed, in a defensive sector which generated stable cashflows and Well Pharmacy met these criteria.
“Turnover of the pharmacy business for the 9 months ended June 2015 slightly exceeded expectations at £583m, with profit before tax of £14.6m.
“The main focus since acquisition has been separating the business from The Co-operative Group, such that it is a fully standalone business, as well as re branding all 795 pharmacy branches under the new name Well Pharmacy. This rebranding exercise was completed in October 2015. The majority of the separation process has been completed and we expect final separation activities to be completed by the end of December 2015, thus ensuring we have a strong platform to execute our future growth strategy. During the year £5.9m has been invested in separating and restructuring the business post-acquisition.
Zameer Choudrey concluded: “The past financial year has been very exciting for the Group. Despite difficult business conditions we have maintained our focus on our strategic goals by increasing turnover and market share of our businesses both in the UK and in Pakistan”.