Bestway has reported a double-digit hike in profits following its acquisition spree last year.

Pre-tax profits in the cash & carry giant's wholesale division soared 16% to £46.3m in the year to 30 June, with turnover up 3.6% to £1.99bn.

The figures were boosted by its purchase of Scots wholesalers Bellevue and Martex, as well as better stock availability following the opening of a new central depot in Coventry in November 2009, and more efficient distribution.

But the wholesaler's Pakistani cement business lost £14.1m over the year, contributing to a 10.7% fall in group profits to £72m. Total group sales rose 2.6% to hit £2.1bn.

"The past year has been difficult and all of our businesses have felt headwinds in the form of shifts in consumer trends," said CEO Zameer Choudrey.

"We see challenges ahead in the UK and Pakistan as the respective economies go through a stabilisation phase. The UK has recently announced a number of austerity measures. Of those implemented, we have not yet seen the full impact on employment and consumer confidence, which will directly affect our business."

Bestway also revealed that it spent £5.8m on the acquisition in June of the Scotland-based wholesaler Bellevue Cash & Carry.

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