Sainsbury has opened its 19th Savacentre store, on East Prescot Road, Knotty Ash, Liverpool, following an investment of £7.2m. It will be followed by one in Stoke on Trent, opening on March 18, then Bolton and Grimsby on March 27.

exel outsourcing
First Drinks has outsourced its logistics to supply chain management company Exel which will take over warehousing and distribution for off and on-trades and handle brands including Glenfiddich and Croft sherry.

sweeter sales
Sales at chocolate maker Thorntons improved in the run-up to St Valentine's Day after a disappointing Christmas. Like-for-like sales at its own shops were up 3.6% in the first five weeks of the second half of its financial year. Pre-tax profit for the first half was up 10% to £10.9m.

Supplier of cooked bacon and vegetables TMI Foods has undergone a management buy-out. The Northampton-based company became part of Prize Foods in 1997 and the MBO received backing from the Bank of Scotland and Aberdeen Murray Johnstone to support the deal.

in the wash
Waitrose has awarded a £30m contract to Hays ACS for the washing of its returnable transit packaging pool for fresh produce over the next 10 years.

FYFFES 7.2% up
Fruit and vegetable distributor Fyffes posted a 7.2% rise in pre-tax profit to 168.1m for 2002. Total turnover was 11.84bn, down from 11.96bn in 2001. Chairman Neil McCann described it as a "highly satisfactory performance achieved in challenging market conditions".

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