Bestway has outlined plans to focus on foodservice, digital and symbol retailing this year after its wholesale division posted a fall in profits and flat sales for 2013.
Pre-tax profits fell 6.9% to £54.3m in the year to 30 June 2013 on sales of £2.34bn, against £2.33bn the year before.
Profits fell because it had reduced margins to support its customers, who were facing “increased competition from high street retailers”, Bestway said.
Group CEO Zameer Choudrey added that the new areas of focus showed the company’s “commitment to the wholesale sector was second to none”.
Its foodservice business, Bestway Batleys Foodservice, was rolled out in August 2013 and has already won large-scale catering and local government contracts, including for City of Edinburgh Council.
In digital, its web sales averaged £4m a week and an app had been created for customers, it said. In symbol retailing, its retail clubs were turning over more than £500m and boasted 3,500 members, with a further 526 in its Pet retail club.
Bestway, which also has interests in cement and banking in Pakistan, said its group profits had risen 6.6% to £184.6m on sales up 1.2% to £2.52bn. Its cement business had been boosted by increased construction activity in Pakistan and its bank had benefited from the opening of 64 new branches.
“Despite the adverse economic environment, the group has been able to profit and all our businesses maintained their respective shares,” Choudrey added.