Blakemore puts in a “solid” financial performance

A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd chairman Peter Blakemore (pictured) last week described a “good, solid result” for the 2016/17 financial year during a period of “intense change” across the food retail and wholesale channels

The Wolvershampton-based business achieved sales of £1.3bn, representing a 1.4% increase on a like-for-like basis (the previous year was 53 weeks long).

Like-for-like profits remained consistent at £7.4m, compared to £7.5m the previous year. Net assets grew by 9.8% to £88.7m.

The company reported that its Spar operation performed well across both company-owned and independent outlets as it continued to meet the “growing demand for local convenience shopping”.

Blakemore said: “I am pleased to report that the company produced another good solid result in the year to 30 April 2017, with the food retail and wholesale markets experiencing a period of intense change and consolidation.

“Customer spending patterns are rapidly changing and we are well positioned to serve the growing interest in local community retailing, as consumers shop more frequently for smaller quantities of food for immediate or same day consumption. We have placed great emphasis on our store operations to meet these growing trends through changing our product range and developing our food-for-now and prepared food-to-go offering.”

He went on to highlight on-going activity across the company to ensure it continues “to innovate and invest in the future”.

“In our centenary year, we have continued to demonstrate our commitment to developing a sustainable business for the future by investing £19.2m in store and business improvement, with a further £27.5m earmarked for the year ahead.

“This focus upon future innovation includes a £4m investment in our I.T. infrastructure with the development of new CRM, Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer digital platforms.”

The Chairman concluded by paying testament to colleagues across the business, saying: “I would like to thank all members of staff for their considerable effort and dedication to achieve such a good result during our 100th year of trading.”

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