JW Filshill, the Glasgow-based food and drink wholesaler, has posted an increase in both margin and turnover thanks to strong cost controls, a strategy to offset a decline in tobacco sales and the impact made by its international craft beer and spirits business.
The firm, which supplies 183 KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England, saw turnover nudge up 1.9 per cent to £145 million in the last financial year.
However, operating profit dipped as the firm incurred higher overheads as it diversified its product mix to offset the continuing decline in the tobacco market.
Simon Hannah, managing director of the fifth-generation family business, said the group had delivered growth throughout the year in a market that remains challenging.
“Consolidation in the sector is fast,” he said. “However, we are well positioned to continue to take advantage of the opportunities we are creating and deliver growth.
“Turnover, when compared to the previous year after adjusting for the continuing market-wide decline in tobacco revenue, showed adjusted growth of 6.7 per cent.
“The strong performance in non-tobacco categories including soft drinks, grocery, ‘food to go’ and fresh and chilled foods, and this change in the mix of business, helped to drive up gross margin.”
Export sales via JW Filshill International, and in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, continued to grow and Hannah said that this business is now “contributing profitably” to the group.