Leading firms publish strong sets of results

Four of the leading wholesalers in the UK have all released results in the last month showing strong growth despite the slowdown in the overall economy.

Today’s Group said its results were the strongest since 2003 with value up 12.7% and volume up 9.1% year-on-year for 2008. The licensed category was up 15.84% value and 10.43% volume, while grocery non-foods achieved a volume increase of 17.1% and value up 8.6%.

“The end of year results for the Today’s Group are fantastic and the best we’ve seen in five years,” said Nick Barker, Today’s Group trading director. “There has been strong, sustained growth across all of the categories.”

Based on its top 80 supplier sales from January 2008 to December 2008, Landmark Wholesale reported sales up 4.7% on the previous year.

Managing director Martin Williams commented: “We are currently operating in challenging times, but our top 80 supplier sales report confirms that Landmark Wholesale performed strongly in the last 12 months and gives us great confidence moving into our new trading year.”

Booker’s performance in the run-up to Christmas was the strongest since its recovery began in 2006, with particularly strong sales through its website.

In a trading statement covering the 16 weeks to January 2, it said total like-for-like sales were up 2.7% on the same period last year. Like-for-like non-tobacco sales were up 5% and like-for-like tobacco sales declined by -0.9%.

Chief executive Charles Wilson said: “We are particularly pleased with the growth of internet sales, which were up 169% on last year at pound;83m. In a challenging market Booker continues to make good progress.”

Bestway Group released its annual accounts for the year to June 30, 2008, which showed turnover in its cash and carry division grew by 4.4% to pound;1.83bn and pre-tax profit was up 17.3% to pound;36.8m.

It also reported that it had spent more than pound;6.5m on developments at Enfield, Acton and Leeds. Group chief executive Zameer Choudrey said: “Bestway’s continued investments are examples of its commitment to the local cash and carry sector.”

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