No change 1Charles Wilson Chief executive Booker

Wilson retains the top spot

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no change 2Younus Sheikh managing director, Bestway Cash & Carry

A non-mover at number two, mainly because of Charles Wilson's continuing prominence at Booker, but Bestway and Sheikh have plenty to celebrate. With sales up 26% and profit 27.4% Bestway is the UK's most profitable cash & carry business and is now seeking to drive greater returns from its Batleys acquisition with more emphasis on foodservice and fresh and chilled lines.

last year: 8 3Rodney Hunt managing director Today's Group

The well-documented travails of Nisa-Today's following the failed merger with Costcutter last year barely impacted on its wholesale arm. In fact Hunt came through the process unscathed and was widely praised in January for attracting Makro Cash & Carry UK, with its £1.1bn worth of buying power, to the group.

New entry 4Fred Barnes CEO, 3663 First For Foodservice

Stability is not something that naturally goes hand in hand with private equity and foodservice, but Barnes and 3663 are different. He has been with the £1.5bn sales company since its split from Booker in 1999 and oversaw 12.7% growth in pre-tax profit to £51.5m last year. There are lots of factors that appear to favour Barnes right now. It is taking market share from struggling Woodward Foodservice. Brakes remains up for sale, which must surely be a distraction. There is a shortage of catering talent in the restaurant and pub trade yet demand to eat out continues to escalate. The pub smoking ban that comes into effect next month will only add to the demand for decent quality fare to offset the loss of beer and tobacco sales. And indeed the general trend towards premium and healthy foods is also catered for by the offerings of 3663. And let's give credit to Barnes where it's due for the excellent customer service it now offers. Michael Caines, who boasts two Michelin stars at his Gidleigh Park restaurant in Devon, is a 3663 customer. He's impressed. "People ask why I use such a big firm, rather than local suppliers for everything," he told The Independent. "But they are good at specialist things, always talking to us about what we want, and try very hard to include top-quality stuff in their ranges." For instance there's a particular brand of butter I like to use, and when they learned about it they went out and sourced it for me straight away."xce

Last year: 10 5 Steve Parfett managing director Parfetts Cash & Carry

A constant presence in the wholesale sector's dealings with the Competition Commission, Parfett is chairman of Landmark Wholesale - which he says is performing well for its members, and has dismissed talk it needs to merge with other buying groups - as well as running the family business. One of the great personalities of the wholesale sector, Parfett is prepared to get stuck in on just about any issue. Between battling Tesco over planning permission in Stockport and seeking to develop his own retail fascia, he has also found time to slam major suppliers over the use of trans fats. New entry

New entry 6Chris Etherington chief executive, Palmer & Harvey McLane

Etherington has been in the job for a year now and replaces his predecessor Graham McPherson on the wholesale power list. McPherson was no4 and P&H's demotion, despite remaining the UK's biggest wholesaler, comes as the group has yet to explain how it intends to overcome its reliance on tobacco sales so as to increase its profit margin above 0.6%. Its main rival Booker is already well on the way to addressing a similar problem.

New entry 7 Chris Martin CEO Musgrave Group

Still relatively unknown this side of the Irish Sea, Martin is set to play a much bigger role in UK wholesale. He still faces the task of appointing a full-time successor to Mike Taylor, who quit as chief executive of subsidiary MBL in November. Musgrave has also emerged as the favourite to snap up Northern Irish wholesaler J&J Haslett, which would double the size of its operation in the province.

New entry 8John Murphy director general, Federation of Wholesale Distributors

Quiet man Murphy may not be as high profile as FWD chairman Francis Ball, who featured on last year's list, but he has proved himself recently as someone who gets results. After long talks with HM Revenue & Customs, a Murphy-led delegation convinced the government to crack down on duty fraud on beer by introducing new rules as part of the Budget in April. This has already led to a reported increase in beer sales for legitimate wholesalers. He has been at the forefront of FWD dealings with the Competition Commission.

New entry 9Mark Aylwin managing director delivered wholesale, Booker Group

Many in the industry did not fancy former Safeway man Aylwin's chances of turning round loss-making internet wholesaler Blueheath, but with the business on the verge of break-even following corrective measures, he's now in the driving seat of Booker's delivered wholesale business, following last month's reverse takeover of Booker, and has the muscle to lift it into the big time. last year: 3

Last year: 3 10Peter Blakemore group MD AF Blakemore

Blakemore is continuing to look at different avenues to take his business forward, having already covered retail, wholesale and foodservice. The 10th-biggest wholesaler in the UK, Blakemore is also the owner of the fourth- biggest independent retail chain, Tates. He is a key mover and shaker in Spar, both in the UK and internationally.