Money

Food and drink wholesaler turnover "stable" as it offsets tobacco sales drop



Food and drink wholesaler JW Filshill, reported a “stable” performance in the year to January 31, 2020, with turnover remaining at £155m, the same as the previous year.
Glasgow-based Filshill recorded gross profit of 8.4%, slightly up on the previous year.

The fifth-generation wholesaler supplies more than 190 KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England, and has several national accounts including the Scottish Prison Service and ferry operator CalMac.

It also supplies local craft beer, spirits and other grocery products to international markets, particularly Asia-Pacific.

As part of future expansion plans, Filshill is set to relocate to a 120,400sqft purpose-built distribution centre at Westway Park near Glasgow Airport in early 2022,
Keith Geddes, chief financial and operating officer, said: “The group has delivered a stable set of results this year with the continuing industry-wide decline in tobacco sales being offset by sustained growth in other product categories.

“The move from a cash-and-carry set-up to Click & Collect at our depot in Hillington has been particularly successful and has delivered clear benefits to the company and our customers.
“Living wage, pension regulation and fuel prices continue to drive up our cost base.

“However, our focus is on offsetting these increases through a constant drive in improving operational efficiency, maximising our use of technology and data, and recruiting new customers to our growing KeyStore symbol group.
“The market remains highly competitive and consolidation continues in the sector but we are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities we are creating and continue to deliver growth outside of the tobacco category.”

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The business includes the export of alcohol and non-alcohol products via JW Filshill International Limited.

The award-winning wholesaler recorded net current assets of £11.09m, up from £10.3m last year. Simon Hannah, chief executive officer, said he was confident that “profit and turnover growth will continue at a satisfactory level”.

He added: “The independent retail trade remains highly competitive and challenging, and we seek to manage the principal risk of losing customers by aiming to deliver best-in-class customer service.”



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