Northern Ireland’s biggest wholesaler Henderson Group achieved a 10.7% increase in operating profits in 2008, compared against the previous year and increased turnover by 11.8%.
Sales and marketing director Patrick Doody said: “This is a strong set of results delivered against a backdrop of aggressive competition and a difficult economic environment where revenue and growth continued to perform well.
“Our improved operating efficiency and profitability has made us better placed to support and focus on the needs of the local independent retailer and in turn the local consumer. In addition, our support of local producers and suppliers is all paying dividends.”
Financial director Ron Whitten commented: “We are particularly pleased with the continued like-for-like growth in sales despite the economic climate, as well as the number of new trading accounts opened across all of the subsidiaries during 2008.”
This year, he said, around pound;14m will be invested in expansion, with a further pound;3m investment in local marketing, to support the retail brands.
The family run and owned business supplies almost 400 stores across Northern Ireland and employs 2,300 staff.