JW Filshill saw a turnover of £191m in the year ending January 31, up 23% from the previous year.
The wholesaler’s operating profit increased to £2.3m – 1.2% of turnover – from 0.67% the previous year, highlighting “how tight profit margins are in the wholesale sector,” according to the company’s directors. Net assets climbed by 11.8% to £15.2m from £13.6m the previous year.
Filshill, based in Hillington Park, Glasgow, supplies KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England, as well as national accounts such as the Scottish Prison Service.
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The business has also revealed plans to relocate to a 120,400 sqft purpose-built distribution centre at Westway Park near Glasgow Airport early next year.
Filshill’s chief financial and operating manager, Keith Geddes, said the company’s financial results for the year ended January 2021 were “strong,” noting: “The UK economy has experienced a period of extreme uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic and the group has had to adapt to take account of the massive disruption experienced by all sectors.
“We constantly reviewed controls and working processes to ensure that our workforce was operating safely and with the necessary resources and information to minimise any risk to our team. There were high costs associated with safeguarding employees and customers but we took all necessary precautions.
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“We were one of the first companies in the UK to make regular lateral flow testing available on-site to the entire team.”
Geddes added: “Despite these increased operating costs the change in consumer behaviours resulted in an increase in demand for convenience retail which helped offset these costs and generated funds to invest in the growth and future of the business.”
However, he also noted that the pandemic caused the wholesaler to suspend much of its on-trade and international activity during the year since the business supplies local craft beer and craft spirits to international markets.
Chief executive officer at Filshill, Simon Hannah mentioned the company’s acquisition of tonic wine brand Eldorado at the end of the year, as an example of the company’s involvement in brand ownership and development.
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“We also revisited our overall company strategy during the year and created a 10-year strategy, built by all employees, to provide focus and clarity of direction for the business going forward,” he said.
Hannah added: “Our long-term strategy of building strong partnership-based relationships with our customers and suppliers has been critical in us providing essential supplies to communities across the country in challenging times. We were recently ranked number one by suppliers in an independent survey across our key competitors for the ninth consecutive year.”
“The directors are pleased with the company performance and are confident that profits will continue at a satisfactory level going forward.”