HEADLINES THIS WEEK:
– BESTWAY WHOLESALE VIRTUALLY UNCHANGED
– BIDVEST FRESH BUYS MAJORITY STAKE IN HENSON FOODS
– FAIRWAY FOODSERVICE EXPANDS PRODUCT RANGE
SALES AND PROFITS STEADY AT BESTWAY WHOLESALE
Annual returns for Bestway Group’s wholesale business showed little change on the previous year – pre-tax profit of £54.3 million (£54.2 million) and sales up from £2.34 billion to £2.38 billion.
The figures contributed to group pre-tax profit (including banking and cement) up from £184.6 million to £267.1 million and turnover rising from £2.52 billion to £2.55 billion.
Chief executive Zameer Choudrey (pictured right) referred to the “challenging business environment both in the UK and globally” and “challenges ahead of us”.
Despite the situation, he said that the three major growth areas identified two years ago – retail symbols & clubs, online sales and foodservice distribution – are all progressing well.
Best One and Xtra Local now have over 4,300 members and annual turnover of £640 million.
Bestway’s online business, which has more than 26,000 registered users, increased sales by 47.1% to £176.3 million, while the Bestway Batleys foodservice operation has 23 contracts with local authorities, NHS hospitals, schools and private ventures. Tenders have been submitted for another 22.
The Essentially Catering own-label range comprises over 50 everyday lines, helping foodservice turnover grow by 2.3% to £128.3 million.
The former Sher Brothers C&C in Glasgow now trades as a dual-branded Bestway Batleys unit with 100,000 sq ft of sales area.
And following a £10 million investment programme announced two years ago, the group now has more than 500 Best Pets stores in the UK.
Tel: Bestway Group 020-8453 1234
MAJORITY HOLDING IN HENSON FOODS FOR BIDVEST FRESH
Bidvest Fresh, the fish, meat, produce and dairy operation of Bidvest 3663, has acquired a majority interest in Henson Foods, of north London, largely known for its speciality salt beef.
The supplier, founded in Smithfield Market, London, in 1895, also deals in a wide range of fresh, frozen and ambient food, bought by wholesalers, restaurateurs and caterers.
One of its developing product areas is ‘gourmet’ burgers, of which more than one million were sold to independent operators last year.
Henson’s managing director Andrew Brook and his executive team will continue to run the business, which has a total staff of 60 and a fleet of 15 vehicles operating across the south of the country.
He told Cash & Carry Management: “I would stress that the arrangement involves us with Bidvest Fresh only and not the 3663 chain.”
In the year to April 2014, Henson’s pre-tax profit increased by 31% to £372,000 on sales 8% ahead at £14.3 million.
Tel: Henson Foods 020-7609 2299
MORE PRODUCTS FROM FAIRWAY FOODSERVICE
Fairway Foodservice continues to increase its range with the launch of 21 additional products.
They include Scottish seeded salmon, prawn kievs, crab & lobster burgers and six bakery lines. Among the suppliers are King Asia, Pacific West, Paramount, Five Star Fish, Kara, Gourmet Island and Delifrance.
Purchasing manager of the 17-member group Keith Hepton said: “These new products were voted for by our wholesalers at our September ‘Meet the Member’ event. Last year, occasions such as this generated £1.3 million in business.
“We are now preparing for our first event of this year (mid-March). This will see even more product lines added to our order book.
“We are striving to ensure that all products available through Fairway Foodservice are recognised as the benchmark other buying groups aspire towards.”
Tel: Fairway Foodservice (01422) 319100Published Date: February 26, 2015