21 (22) Frozen Value

Sales:£66.4m (+4%) 

Pre-tax profits:£3.4m (-2%)

Stores:102 (4%)

In a “challenging” and “competitive” market, this frozen discounter - established in 1960 by Jack Fulton but taken over by MD Kevin Gunter in 1997 - has continued to add new stores over the past 12 months, investing £1.4m in expansion, to boost sales by 4%, though profits dipped in the process.


22 (21) Gillett’s

gillets spar

Sales:£66.1m (+2%)

Pre-tax profits:N/A (N/A)

Stores:61 (-3%)

The largest c-store operator in the South of England, family-run Gillett’s closed two of its stores in 2014. However it protected both jobs and sales, with a small rise in turnover and two extra members of staff. It also introduced the Subway brand to its outlets, with a second sandwich bar opening in Plymouth in October.


23 (24) MPK Garages

Sales:£65.5m (+11%)

Pre-tax profits:£316k (+77%)

Stores:48 (+20%)

Returning to profit in 2013, this Leicester-based forecourt operator, which has 48 stores under the Londis fascia, made further progress in the year to February 2014 after taking on eight new sites, boosting both sales and profits. Owned by the Majithia family, MPK is now on the hunt for more sites.


24 (25) Sewell Retail

Sales:£54.5m (+1%)

Pre-tax profits:£234k (-36%)

Stores:12 (0%)

Part of a family-owned group dating back to 1976, with interests as wide-ranging as construction, investment and estate services, Sewell’s retail operations comprise 12 forecourts in Yorkshire. It’s been investing heavily in them and is busy creating an own-brand range - Sewell On The Go.


25 (26) Roys

Roys of Wroxham

Sales:£51m (+6%)

Pre-tax profits:£661k (-42%)

Stores:9 (0%)

Dating back to 1895, Roys boasts its flagship store in Wroxham, Norfolk, is the “world’s largest village store”. Owned by the Roy family, it now has nine stores operating under the Nisa fascia, including a garden centre it acquired in 2013. But that and other investments resulted in profits declining 42% last year.


26 (27) G101 Off Sales

Sales:£50m (+3%)

Pre-tax profits:£20k (+20%)

Stores:45 (0%)

The independent off-licence sector is tough, but Scotland’s largest indie chain grew both sales and profits in the year to May 2014. The Glasgow-based family business - owned by the King family - has been adding a wider range of products to its 45 stores, which trade as One O One, in recent years.


27 (28) Chartman

Sales:£45.3m (0%)

Pre-tax profits:£1.3m (+29%)

Stores:9 (0%)

Family-owned Chartman, which has one Spar c-store and eight forecourts in South West England, has been focusing on store redevelopment and changing its sales mix. Though turnover was flat in the year to 31 October 2013, the Exeter-based group’s profit margins grew to a respectable 2.9%.


28 (29) Lawrence Hunt

Sales:£37.9m (-2%)

Pre-tax profits:£1.3m (+73%)

Stores:28 (+4%)

This high-profile Spar retailer has been a pioneer since the 1950s. The fourth-generation family business was one of the first to adopt Spar’s 8 Til Late format in the 1980s. More recently it trialled Spar’s ‘next generation’ format, which it is halfway through rolling out to all of its 28 stores.


29 (30) Symonds Forecourts


Sales:£37.4m (+4%)

Pre-tax profits:£530k (+74%)

Stores:8 (0%)

Formed in 2007 by the Symonds family after the sale of their old c-store chain and wholesale business, Symonds has grown its estate to nine stores and is already a high-profile retailer operating under both the Budgens and Londis fascias. It describes its performance over the past year as “very solid”.


Cook 30 (33)

gillets spar

Sales:£37.0m (+55%)

Pre-tax profits:£2.6m (+81%)

Stores:81 (21%)

Launched in 1997 by Edward Perry and Dale Penfold and 87% family-owned, Cook specialises in family-sized frozen ready meals with a home-cooked appearance. It now has 81 stores across the UK, as well as concessions in Budgens and other independents. It’s also experimenting with click & collect and home delivery across London.

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