The Bestway Group has revealed an “encouraging” set of financial results for the year ended 30 June 2017, with sales through Best-one stores up by 19.7%, excluding tobacco.

Best-one and Xtra Local retail club membership also continued to grow in the year, with sales up 12.9% overall.

Retailers also benefited from rebates in excess of £1m via the My Rewards rebate scheme.

Turnover at the group, which bought Conviviaity’s retail arm earlier this month, increased by 0.3% to £3.29bn, with all businesses profitable for the year under review.

Group profit before tax increased by 8.5% to hit £448.4m, driven by an improvement in the underlying performance of the wholesale and cement businesses, as well as the devaluation of the British Pound following the Brexit announcement.

Revenue in the wholesale business was down 2% year on year to £2.13bn, in line with the performance of the broader wholesale sector due to tobacco sales being under pressure, Bestway said.

Profit before tax rose from £19.7m in 2016 to £42.7m during the year, driven by an “exceptional profit” from the disposal of some non-strategic investment properties of £13.5m.

This was an “encouraging performance” aided by margins increasing to historic levels and increased loyalty from customers, Bestway said.

Group chief executive Zameer Choudrey CBE said: “2017 has been a year of profit growth and rapid debt repayment for the group.

“Despite difficult business conditions and uncertainty in the UK, we have maintained our market share across the wholesale and pharmacy businesses while delivering significant profit growth in our cement and banking interests in Pakistan.”

“In the UK, both the food and drink, and pharmacy sectors have been under significant pressure with the continuing encroachment of the multiple retailers into the convenience space and the reduction in NHS funding and drug reimbursement prices respectively,” he added.

 

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