AF Blakemore posts 7.4% increase in profits and 5% sales rise

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Blakemore Retail’s latest forecourt store at Fairfield Industrial Estate in Lincolnshire

Blakemore Retail’s latest forecourt store at Fairfield Industrial Estate in Lincolnshire

AF Blakemore has posted a 7.4% increase in profits and 5% increase in sales in its latest set of accounts.

The West Midlands-based food retail, wholesale and distribution business recorded annual sales of £1.19bn with pre-tax profits up from £7.1m to £7.6m for the 2013/14 financial year. Net Assets have also grown by 10.9% to £78.6m.

AF Blakemore chairman, Gwendoline Blakemore, highlighted a good set of results, with the company beginning to reap the rewards from its price reduction strategy to help maintain sales in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Blakemore also pointed to the company’s “good solid progress during the first six-months of the current financial year with sale ten-figure turnover for the third year in succession.

The company has also built upon 2011’s acquisition of fellow Spar wholesale Capper & Co, with the purchase of Lowries Cash & Carry and its three depots in the North of England and two BA Cash & Carry depots, based in South Wales, during 2013/14.

Blakemore said that while trading conditions continue to be difficult there have been recent signs of growth in the economy with growing consumer confidence.

“The food retailing scene has been in a state of turmoil over the past 12-months as retailers struggle to adapt to changing market conditions.

“The convenience retail food market continues to grow as consumers shop more frequently locally and less at large hypermarkets. There is however growing competition in this market as the major multiples continue to open new stores.

“We have continued to invest in the future of our Spar independent retailers and it has been encouraging to see Spar achieving many trade wins during the past 12 months with new store designs and formats.”

Blakemore went on to highlight the importance of embedding the principles of responsible business across AF Blakemore and the company’s on-going investment in its community programme.

“We continue to be guided by the overall purpose to ‘grow a family business in ways that are profitable and sustainable for the benefit of our staff, customers and community’.”

“This has been particularly important when companies have been cutting back in these areas and when trust in business has declined,” she said.