Bestway Group reported a 6.3 percent increase in its annual turnover for 2019 fiscal, with all businesses returning profits.
The turnover for the year ending 30 June 2019 stood at £3.4 billion.
Group profits, however, suffered a decline, with pre-tax profit falling to £227.7 million from £283.5 million in the previous year.
The group attributed challenging economic conditions in Pakistan, where the group has interests in banking and cement sectors, and the impact of the rupee devaluation for the dip in profits.
“2019 was a challenging year for Bestway Group as there was significant economic uncertainty within the geographies we operate in. However, despite these difficult business conditions all our businesses remained profitable,” commented Lord Zameer Choudrey, group chief executive.
Revenues within the Bestway Wholesale business grew 13 percent to £2.3 billion in 2019 from £2.1 billion in 2018.
The business focused on integrating the various retail and distribution businesses it acquired in 2018, most notably Conviviality Retail.
Dawood Pervez, managing director of Bestway Wholesale, said they have successfully incorporated over 600 new stores into the business in a rapid space of time. He also highlighted that the results were exceptional against a backdrop of tough trading conditions, economic turbulence, wage inflation, and a number of one-off exceptional costs that were absorbed resulting from the Bestway Retail acquisition.
He said: “It is well documented that Bestway Retail required stabilising and re-energising during a year of economic turbulence (Brexit), and legislative change across the National Living Wage. Market conditions for the wholesale sector also intensified during this period with Tesco, Morrisons and Asda entering the wholesale market place.
“However, the year was also one where we invested heavily into the future of the Wholesale business to ensure we remain at the forefront of the industry. Our commitment to continuous customer service improvement led to a growing emphasis on designated delivery hubs to offer better and quicker service, underpinned by an ongoing programme of investment into technology and data driven solutions.”
Sales to symbol grew 3.3 percent, as investment into the ‘My Rewards’ rebate scheme continued, to help symbol customers increase margins and profitability whilst driving loyalty back into the business.
Catering sales grew 2.5 percent during the year to £162 million.
Lord Choudrey said the group is in a position to provide vital lifelines to local communities across the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“As communities continue to stay local as a result of calls for social distancing to increase, our depots, pharmacies, retail outlets and the independent retailers/pharmacies we supply will become increasingly important. They play a pivotal role in ensuring access to necessities such as food and medicine, as well as invaluable advice for families across the UK,” he said.
Lord Choudrey added that the group’s wholesale and pharmacy businesses will remain open to provide these vital services to society.