Full-year pre-tax profit at Bestway's Cash & Carry operations topped £21m last year, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

The company reported a 24% increase in pre-tax profit to £13.4m on sales up 10% to £767m for its Bestway Cash & Carry business for the year to 30 June 2007. Batleys, which Bestway acquired in January 2005, reported a 5.6% increase in sales to £598m and a 58% increase in pre-tax profit to £7.9m in separate accounts for the period.

Bestway said its position in the wholesale sector had continued to show an upward trend during the year, despite economic pressure. It opened its 50th depot in Enfield, north London, in March 2007, which the accounts revealed cost more than £6m, while its Batleys warehouse which opened last October in Gillingham, Kent, cost £10m.

Sales growth in the catering sector had exceeded expectations, the directors said, adding that the group hoped to secure a significant market share in the sector.

"In the UK, despite the economic pressure, we expect continued progress in 2008, underpinned by growth in cash & carry sales ," the directors said.

In 2007 Bestway relaunched its own-label range, introducing new suppliers, new quality standards and new packaging.

Group turnover rose 6.8% to £1.42bn for the year, but group pre-tax profit fell 10.9% to £58.37m due to a difficult year for Bestway's Pakistan cement business.

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