Group turnover over the same period was also up, by 21% to £1.35bn.
The results were boosted by the acquisition in January 2005 of the UK’s oldest cash and carry group, Batleys, for £100m. The acquisition took Bestway’s number of depots to 49.
In the five months since the acquisition, Batleys contributed £237m towards the group turnover and £3.9m to operating profits. It also increased Bestway’s market share in the wholesale sector to 17%.
The company, which serves more than 1,500 independent retailers through its Best-in and Best-one fascias as well as thousands of unaffiliated independents, also increased its property portfolio to £242.3m, an increase of 57% on the previous year.
Group chief executive Zameer Choudrey confirmed that the company was particularly pleased with the results because they did not include the full impact of Batleys.