The Bestway Group has announced its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2017, with all businesses return profits for the year. The wholesaler was in the news recently with the acquisition of the retail arm of Conviviality.

The Group’s turnover increased by 0.3 percent to £3.29 billion from £3.28 billion in 2016. Pre-tax profit increased by 8.5 percent to £448.4 million as compared to £413.3 million in 2016. This was due to an improvement in the underlying performance of the Wholesale and Cement businesses as well as the benefit of devaluation in the British Pound following the Brexit announcement, said the company.

However, both the food and drink, and pharmacy sectors in the UK 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, it added.

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Business conditions in Pakistan have remained stable during the year and the group has capitalised on opportunities to enhance our market share in the cement and banking sectors through Bestway Cement Limited and United Bank Limited.

Mr Zameer Choudrey CBE, the Group Chief Executive 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.”

Wholesale Businesses

Revenue in the wholesale business amounted to £2.13 billion, a decrease of 2.0 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. This decrease was in line with the performance of the broader wholesale sector due to tobacco sales being under pressure, the report noted. Profit before tax rose from £19.7 million in 2016 to £42.7 million during the year. However, it included an exceptional profit on the disposal of certain non-strategic investment properties of £13.5 million.

In symbol and club, Best-one and Xtra Local retail club membership continues to grow and sales through best-one increased by 19.7 percent – excluding tobacco – and 12.9 percent overall during the year. Retailers also benefitted from rebates in excess of £1 million via the My Rewards rebate scheme.

In Foodservice, the company grew sales by 7.6 percent with increases in both its catering and contracts businesses while Pet sales were up 7.9 percent.

Its online business now has 62,000 registered users compared to 37,000 in the prior year. Weekly sales grew 12.0 percent with total app and website sales averaging £26 million a month.  The mobile app accounts for nearly 25 percent of all online transactions, compared to 15 percent in the prior year.