Operating profits rose 46% to £40.8m on sales up 6% to £1.16bn in the year to 31 December, while Bibby Distribution recorded a 21% hike in profits to £7m and sales up 24.3% to £230m.
After a "frustrating" 2009 with no acquisitions and two failed bids for Nisa-Today's, Bibby Distribution acquired three companies in 2010. "The acquisitions of Taygroup, TM Logistics and MRS Distribution have increased our turnover, but they are part of a strategy to improve infrastructure and broaden our range of services, which enables us to create incremental value for our customers," said Iain Speak, CEO of Bibby Distribution. "By adopting this approach we have won close to £70m of annualised new business over the last three years. An amount of this has been awarded by existing customers who rely on us for tailored solutions," he added.
Costcutter, in which Bibby owns a 51% stake, posted a 4% increase in sales to £640m during the period, which MD Nick Ivel described as "a solid performance despite difficult trading conditions".
"The convenience store sector as a whole reported sales increases of 4.9%," he added. "Costcutter's robust performance at the top end of the industry average and continued growth over the last 25 years demonstrate the benefits to independent retailers joining us."
Costcutter was doing all it could to help indies compete against the multiples, Ivel added. Costcutter had doubled TV advertising during the year and its loyalty scheme was now free for retailers using its bespoke CPoS system.
He also revealed the symbol group would be launching "a number of additions" in September to coincide with its 25th anniversary. It has been working on a review of its business, including the possibility of new fascias. The Grocer revealed earlier this month that it had trademarked both 'Kwik Save' and 'Cost Buster'.