Chief executive Zameer Choudrey has reiterated Bestway’s commitment to wholesaling following its £620m acquisition of The Co-operative Pharmacy in July.

Speaking at the wholesaler’s annual Retail Development Awards, held in London last week, Choudrey said that over the past decade Bestway had invested more than £275m in its wholesale business.

“Wholesale is our core business and we are committed to you - our stakeholders, customers, staff and suppliers,” he added.

“Our investment is proof of our ambition to remain a leader in the wholesale sector.”

He reiterated his faith in Bestway’s three-pronged strategy for wholesale - foodservice, online and its symbol and retail clubs.

On foodservice, Choudrey said its Bestway Batleys Foodservice operation launched last September with four contracts but now had 23, serving local authorities, the NHS, schools and ­private ventures, with 22 tenders for new business in place.

The website now had 26,000 registered users and Bestway was on target to reach year-end web sales of £230m - 15% from new business, Choudrey predicted.

He added that its Best-one symbol fascia and separate retail clubs had recently passed the 4,000 store mark. “Wholesale is not just about shifting boxes.” Choudrey added. “It is about being collaborative and creating partnerships at a store level.”

Bestway’s acquisition of The Co-op Pharmacy took the wholesaler into the pharmacy sector for the first time. It has also recently expanded its cement business in Pakistan following an acquisition.