AF Blakemore celebrates 18.5% profit rise

AF Blakemore & Son has posted an 18.5% increase in profits and 7.1% increase in sales in its latest set of accounts.

The company recorded annual sales of £1.28bn with pre-tax profits up from £7.6m to £9.0m for the 2014/15 financial year. Net assets have also grown by 1.14% to £79.5m.

Chairman Peter Blakemore cited ongoing innovation across the estate and the increased strength of the convenience sector as the key reasons for this success. He said, “These are encouraging results in a year when food retailing and wholesaling has encountered many challenges.

“Innovations have included our continued focus upon food service, fresh foods and food to go, which has included opening 19 Subways and three Greggs franchises to enhance the retail offer to the consumer.

He added, “Supermarkets have continued to attract lower sales whilst convenience stores have witnessed growth in both numbers and turnover.

“We have continued to attract new stores and we have invested considerable time and money to help our independent retailers develop their stores.'

Turnover across the AF Blakemore Group was also helped by 2014/15 being the first full year to include the BA Cash & Carry business in South Wales, as well as very good sales increases in the company’s Foodservice, Fine Foods and Design & Shopfitting divisions.

Peter Blakemore went on to highlight the company’s strong start to the 2015/16 financial year, with 162 new independent SPAR stores on-boarded to November 2015, with 101 of these representing sites that form part of SPAR UK’s national contract with leading forecourt operator Euro Garages.

The managing director concluded by pointing to the company’s commitment to growing in a profitable and sustainable way, reflected in the organisation’s reinvestment strategy.

He said, “We reinvest 98% of the company’s profits back into the business, with the remaining 2% received by the Blakemore Foundation charitable trust.

“This ongoing reinvestment has resulted in the significant growth of our business in recent years and I am totally confident that we have the strategy, tools and the people to continue this success in the years ahead.”