Filshill invests for the future by diversifying product mix

Glasgow-based wholesaler JW Filshill, which supplies 183 KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England, increased turnover from £142 million to £145 million in the year ended 31 January.

However, trading in an independent retail sector remains “highly competitive”, said managing director Simon Hannah, and despite the company’s strong performance in food and drink, operating profit dipped as Filshill incurred higher overheads as it diversified its product mix to offset the continuing decline in the tobacco market. Despite this, pre-tax profit rose from £888,000 to £896,000.

Hannah commented: “Consolidation in the sector is fast. However, we are well positioned to continue to take advantage of the opportunities we are creating and deliver growth.”

Turnover, when compared to the previous year, and after adjusting for the continuing market-wide decline in tobacco revenue, showed adjusted growth of 6.7%.

Hannah added that a strong performance in non-tobacco categories, including soft drinks, grocery, food-to-go and fresh and chilled foods, helped to drive up gross margin by 6.6%.

Export sales continued to increase through JW Filshill International, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pointing to cost control, Hannah said: “Recent changes to the living wage, pension regulation and fuel prices continue to drive up our cost base, but we continue to focus on offsetting these increases through a constant drive in improving operational efficiency and maximising our use of technology and data.

“We’re in a strong position given current market conditions and, while changing the mix of our business has led to increased overheads, we are prepared to incur these costs in order to ensure that our customers have the armoury they need to compete in the increasingly competitive convenience retail marketplace.”

Additional resources in the operations, customer service and marketing departments enabled the wholesaler to engage more closely with customers by offering ‘market-leading’ service, strong promotions and wide-ranging advice and support on subjects such as store layouts/planograms, consumer leaflets, digital social media and EPoS.

Hannah concluded: “We are pleased with our performance and are confident that profits will continue at a satisfactory level, with the current year’s revenue showing further strong growth.”

Tel: JW Filshill 0141-883 7071


Published Date: September 2, 2018
Category: Wholesale Industry News