Wholesaler and manufacturer DCS Europe claims it is on course for a record-breaking year after posting a 10.4% uplift in first-quarter turnover on last year.

Sales in the first 12 weeks of 2009 were up £2.4m to £25.1m, while turnover in April - up 32% to £10.5m - was the highest ever achieved in a month.

"We had a slow start to January and February, which must have been due to the recession and our cautious customers," said chairman and chief executive Denys Shortt. "However, March shot ahead, bringing us up 10.4% for the quarter."

The business's £102m turnover in 2008 could grow to £250m with very little investment in infrastructure, he added. DCS would just need to turn its Stratford-upon-Avon plant into a 24-hour-a-day operation.

DCS, which claims it supplies every cash & carry in the country, was gaining from the growth in trade at c-stores, Shortt said. "The convenience sector is seeing growth. People got scared when petrol rocketed in price, and despite the price going down people have not changed their habits," he said.

"The motto 'Shop often, shop local, spend less', coined by Landmark Wholesale, is actually the real world. People are visiting their local store more often and, with the recession, are clearly cutting their spend."

DCS had got its strategy right and benefited from being in the right place at the right time, he added. It spent £1m on a new factory in time to take advantage of an increase in demand for British-made products caused by the weak pound, and had won market share from its competitors Vitality Group and Nield, which have both fallen into administration.

It has recently set up a new division, DCS High Street Discount, to capitalise on growth in the discounter market, while its new Crunch Busters initiative provides selected brands at a 33% discount.

Even swine flu has worked in its favour, Shortt said, highlighting a spike in demand for hand gel.