A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd Chairman Peter Blakemore has underlined how a longterm strategic investment plan is enabling the family-owned business to maximise future growth opportunities across the convenience, wholesale and specialist food sectors.
The comments follow the announcement of the company’s financial results for the year ending 30 April 2018, which saw the company sell its Cash & Carry operation to focus on developing its SPAR retail and wholesale distribution operations. The company completed the Cash & Carry process in September 2018 having sold nine sites with negotiations relating to the remaining four premises now nearing completion.
Mr Blakemore said: “I am pleased to report that the profit on the continuing parts of the company was £8.5m (PBT) on sales of £1,058.4m.
“The Cash & Carry sale has had a significant impact on the overall financial performance of the company, which achieved sales of £1,257m and recorded a loss of £18.8m after tax, with all Cash & Carry suppliers paid in full. “I am also happy to say that 50% of our employees from the Cash & Carry operation maintained their employment, either with A.F. Blakemore or the purchasing businesses.”
While exceptional provisions of £18m were made as a result of the Cash & Carry sale, the process has generated £17m of surplus cash, with the bulk to be received during the 2018/19 financial year.
A.F. Blakemore has reduced its longterm debt during the year, and an improved performance of the company’s pension scheme has helped off-set the reduction of the net asset value of the company’s balance sheet from £88.7m to £74.5m.
Mr Blakemore added: “We remain one of the few family firms committed to working in partnership with independent retail businesses and we continuie to see the benefits of our investment in lower prices for retail customers and developing new innovative store formats.”