AF Blakemore has hailed a “tremendous” year after posting an increase in annual pre-tax profit from continuing operations up almost a fifth to £10.2m.
Sales from continuing operations climbed 4.6% to £1.1bn in the year to the end of April.
“This has been a tremendous performance and I’d like to thank all our staff who have worked so hard to help us achieve these results,” said chairman Peter Blakemore.
“We have continued to achieve positive growth across all channels and have carried out major reviews into all areas of our business to make sure we have the right strategies in place.”
The wholesaler had made major investments in the period, upgrading and buying new stores, improving logistics and developing IT systems.
The investments included the acquisition of 22 Philpotts stores in February, which it said added further growth momentum to the existing fresh foods and foodservice business.
The year also saw the group sign a pre-let on a 20-year lease for a 164,850 sq ft multi-temperature distribution facility in Bedford.
Occupancy is scheduled for 2021, subject to planning permission.
The new site is expected to complement Blakemore’s existing network of distribution centres and give the business greater supply-chain capacity to support its growth.
Blakemore added: “This is another exciting development for AF Blakemore and reflects the confidence we feel in the company’s ability to grow in the markets it operates in.
“As a business, we are feeling energised and ready to take advantage of all the opportunities available in the rapidly changing market.”