Wholesaler 3663 First for Foodservice expects to report full-year turnover in excess of £1.4bn next month, compared with sales of £1.29bn last year.

In an exclusive interview with the The Grocer, 3663 chief executive Fred Barnes said he believed the company's future was bright - in spite of the loss of a £150m-a-year Ministry of Defence contract to rival DBC Foodservice this month.

Barnes said: "We expect to continue that sort of growth rate in the future."

Barnes said that competition was tough in the sector and that many of 3663's competitors had struggled to grow sales. Foodservice was an increasingly attractive arena for traditional wholesalers and cash and carries, many of whom were angling to grab a bigger share of caterers' purchases.

But he added: "We are confident that we have the capabilities to do well."

3663 is ranked in 5th place in The Grocer's Big 30 wholesaler rankings.