The Kitwave Group has reported strong H1, with trading returning to pre-pandemic levels and revenues up by 51.8% to £223.3m compared to the £147.1m the previous year.
Consolidated gross margin also improved to 19.8%, whilst recovery in profit after tax came in at £4.4m compared to £3.4m in H1 2021.
Commenting on the acquisition of M.J. Baker Foodservice, the Kitwave board said it considers the business an excellent addition to the Group’s Foodservice division and has traded in line with the expectations since the acquisition was completed.
Paul Young, Chief Executive Officer of Kitwave, commented: “With the detrimental effects of COVID-19 significantly reduced, the Group made great strides operationally and commercially during the period.
“Trading recovered at a quicker pace from the pandemic than we had anticipated, notably within vending, ambient and foodservice. It should be noted that this reporting period includes Christmas 2021, a period that was still overshadowed by high rates of positive COVID-19 cases and hesitancy to socialise amongst consumers.
“The outlook for the UK economy is dominated by cost-of-living issues which provide an element of uncertainty in relation to end consumer demand for the Group’s products. While the Board is cognisant that these issues could impact trading in future periods, given the better than expected performance in H1 and the strong start to H2, we expect to be significantly ahead of expectations for the current year.”
Kitwave recently Opened a new 60,000 sq. ft distribution centre in Wakefield as part of the development of the Group’s on-trade business. The facility provides the ability to deliver efficiencies in stock holding, through consolidation, improved stock handling, the potential for bonded warehousing and own brand manufacturing. This upgraded facility replaces the previous Wakefield distribution centre.