Bestway Group profits up 6.5%

The Bestway Group last week announced its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2013. The Group’s annual turnover increased by 1.2% to £2.52bn, up from from £2.49 bn in 2012. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2013 was up 6.6% from £173.2m in 2012 to £184.6m.

All group businesses continued to be profitable, said CEO Zameer Choudrey: “In the past 12 months, the business environment in the UK and globally has faced many challenges. Despite the adverse economic environment the Group has been able to increase profitability and I am pleased to say that the inherent strength of the Group has ensured that all our businesses maintained their respective market shares during the year under review”.

Choudrey added: “Bestway Wholesale continues to be the UK’s largest trade-only wholesaler.”

Turnover in the wholesale business was £2.34bn compared to £2.33bn in the corresponding period of the previous year. Profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2013 decreased by 6.9% to £54.3m from

£58.3m in 2012. The decrease in profit was, said Choudrey, due to “the Group consciously reducing its margins to support its customers, who are facing increased competition from the high street retailers.” In line with its mission of “Building Business for the Independents”, offering customers the lowest prices and the widest product range in the wholesale sector.

Choudrey reiterated the Group’s commitment to the wholesale sector while adding that it had identified three key focus areas for the business to sustain a robust growth trajectory – Foodservice, Digital and Symbol amp; Club Retailing. To meet these aims, the Group had in the past year launched Bestway Batleys Foodservice (August 2013) with its 12-week fixed-price promotions under the banner of “Price Hold Guarantee”; the business had already won large-scale catering and local government contracts, particularly in Scotland.

As part of the second focus area, the business had continued to develop its online offering and consequently, said Choudrey, the transactional Bestway and Batleys websites were averaging £4m in sales per week and are growing, and this year a dedicated E-Commerce team had developed a specialist app for customers.

The third pillar of growth, he said, was Symbol amp; Club Retailing. “Bestway’s retail clubs are the largest in the UK with a current membership of over 3,500, and Pet Retail Club membership has now increased to 526. The total turnover of the business’ retail clubs is over £500m. November 2013 saw the launch of the My Rewards Scheme aimed towards the Best One members. This unique retailer rebate scheme will help the retailer in increasing their business.”

Choudrey also announced that the Group had begun to implement the £10 million investment plan, announced in August 2012, to expand its Best Pets division. To this effect, a new site has been developed at Glasgow and the Group was about to enhance its pet retail club offering.

Bestway Group’s other activities include cement manufacturing and banking in Pakistan.

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