Palmer & Harvey (P&H) has announced a slide in revenues and profits for the year to 2 April 2016.

Revenues at the delivered wholesaler fell to £4.435bn, down from £4.465bn in 2015, while pre-tax profits tumbled from £35m to £21m. Gross profit was flat at £215m.

P&H attributed the lower profits to continued investment in long-term growth, including the recent opening of a new chilled and frozen depot in Avonmouth and a distribution centre in Leeds.

It also expanded its company-owned retail business during the year to 2 April, increasing store numbers from 45 to 71 and growing revenues by 50%. There are currenly 85 stores in the Central Convenience Stores chain and P&H has also revealed plans to grow this number by 60 stores a year.

P&H chairman and chief executive Chris Etherington said. “I am pleased to report on a year of progress for P&H.

“In recent years we have built strong foundations for our future, through a significant investment in our depot infrastructure.

“To support the next phase of P&H’s development, this year we began a multi-year programme to improve our operating model and enhance customer service.

“The new financial period has started well, in competitive market conditions. As our customers face new challenges, we are confident that we can offer solutions and further embed our reputation for first class service.”