Attention all wholesalers - you are now officially on your own!

Of course, you will already be acutely aware that the Competition Commission does not believe the wholesale sector is under threat - but the results of The Grocer's latest Big 30 wholesaler ranking can only reinforce that view.

Compared with last year, profits are up 35.2% to £299.7m, the average profit margin has gone up 20% to 1.8%, all on the back of a fairly small 3.2% sales increase.

In fairness this does not sound like a sector either on the verge of or anywhere near some mythical tipping point.

Of course it's not all that simple. Nine of the companies on our list lost margin and seven wholesalers saw profits fall.

Margins are still low compared with the multiples and times are likely to get tougher than ever this year with spiralling costs and a fragile economy.

But on the whole the picture looks pretty healthy so - like Steve Parfett says - perhaps now is the time to stop talking down the sector and salute these excellent results.