Bestway Wholesale has announced a drop in annual turnover from £2.37bn to £2.27bn for the financial year ending June 30, while pre-tax profits fell from £49.2m to £44.6m.
Highlights for the year included major membership increases for the Best-one and Xtra Local retail club. Membership was up to 4,300 stores with a combined turnover of £650m. Best-one increased store numbers from 1016 to 1103 and Xtra Local from 2400 to 3200.
The year also saw an investment in digital as Bestway became the first wholesaler to introduce a mobile app, which was downloaded over 12,000 times with sales for the app averaging £2m per month. The wholesaler also introduced i-beacon technology to transmit promotions to customers’ smart phones and was the first wholesaler to integrate Apple Pay.
Group chief executive Zameer Choudrey CBE said: “The past financial year has been very exciting for the Group. Despite difficult business conditions we have maintained our focus on our strategic goals by increasing turnover and market share of our businesses both in the UK and in Pakistan.”
The Bestway Group’s overall annual turnover increased by 20% to £3.06bn - from £2.55bn in 2014 - and profit before tax rose by 39.9% to £373.8m compared to £267.1m in 2014.
Last year the group acquired the Co-operative Pharmacy, re-branded as Well Pharmacy, for £641m and also gained an 88% shareholding in Lafarge Pakistan for £182m, re-branded as Pakcem. The cement plant has a capacity of 2.4m tonnes per annum and is now Pakistan’s largest cement producer.
“Both the acquisitions were completed through a competitive bidding process where the group saw off some major competitors. The group was seen as the most credible party and the best fit to complement the existing businesses,” added Zameer Choudrey.