Drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark has returned to growth after focusing on parts of the on-trade still doing well and improving range and customer service.

Turnover grew by 9.7% to £667.9m in the year to 29 February after falling by 4.6% the previous year. Pre-tax profits fell by 2.7% to £9.4m.

“The on-trade market has been shrinking,” said FD David Phillips. “But there are some areas in growth such as gastropubs, hotels and casual dining establishments. That’s the area we’re looking to drive.”

Matthew Clark added 20 people to its salesforce during the period and spent £2m on IT and infrastructure. It is two years into a four-year, £14m investment plan.