Sales at Bidfood fell 11.7% to £1.3bn for the year to 30 June 2020.
The Bidcorp-owned wholesaler saw revenues drop sharply during the final three months of the financial year, directly linked to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to results filed this week at Companies House, turnover had been outperforming the previous year up until the start of the crisis.
The accounts show pre-tax profits improved from £29.4m to £29.7m due to “extremely good cost control” and a margin increase of 2%.
Bidfood spent £11.5m on a restructuring programme, which The Grocer understands saw more than 500 employees made redundant, and the closure of five depots and two subsidiary businesses: Oliver Kay in Bolton and Quality Cuisine in South Devon.
Bidfood CEO Andrew Selley said those exceptional costs were necessary to “protect its reserves and preserve its core business”.
Bidfood said in the accounts that it had managed to replace some of the lost catering business by winning a £208m government contract together with rival foodservice giant Brakes to distribute food to the clinically vulnerable who were required to shield during lockdown. The business also said it ”managed to control costs through utilising the job retention scheme”.
“Along with the rest of the hospitality supply chain industry, Bidfood’s results were impacted by the Covid pandemic in the final quarter of our financial year,” said Selley. “Bidfood is a strong and stable business and the results for the first nine months of the financial year, combined with the exceptional performance of the management team in mitigating the impacts of lockdown on the business, have combined to produce a reasonable result for the financial year 2019- 2020.”
During the year, Bidfood also completed its sale of Best Food Logistics to Booker. The business generated revenues of £900m up to its sale. At that point it had narrowed Best Food’s loss from £25.6m to £9.1m.