FOOD and drink wholesaler JW Filshill has posted an increase in turnover to £200 million as it ramps up investment ahead of a move to a new distribution centre.

The 4.4 per cent turnover rise for the year ending January 31, 2022 was set against £191m the year before.

Glasgow-based Filshill, a fifth-generation business that supplies KeyStore convenience stores across Scotland and the north of England, also reported operating profit rise from £2.3m to £2.7m.

The firm, one of Scotland’s oldest independent food and drink wholesalers, recorded gross profit of £17m while net assets grew to £17.1m compared to £15.2m the previous year, an increase of 12.6%.

Keith Geddes, Filshill chief financial and operating officer, said that while sales and operations during the year were heavily impacted by pandemic disruption, tight controls and efforts by staff "minimised disruption and helped us continue to grow the business and deliver a high level of service to our customers".

The firm said it was “another set of strong results”.

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The company, which last month acquired the independent Iain Hill Ltd wholesale business located just a few miles away in Linwood, recorded gross profit of 8.5% during the year.

Mr Geddes pointed to recent rising inflation and the cost of living crisis – in particular increases in the cost of fuel and food and drink – and noted: "This causes uncertainty for the group, our staff, and our customers and suppliers."

He said: "Operating costs remained inflated due to the increased provision of PPE, increased cleaning resource and implementation of social distancing where required.

"However, the directors are pleased with the company performance and are confident that profits will continue at a satisfactory level going forward."

HeraldScotland: Filshill also further developed its strategy around benchmarking its carbon footprint. Picture: FilshillFilshill also further developed its strategy around benchmarking its carbon footprint. Picture: Filshill

He cautioned that the group remained exposed to financial and non-financial risks, including a highly competitive independent retail market and the risk of debts becoming irrecoverable. "The group operates tight credit control processes and has entered credit insurance arrangements for certain key balances," Mr Geddes noted.

He said: "Industry-wide supply issues have been a challenge. However, to offset this the group works hard to maintain strong partnership-based relationships with all suppliers, and we were recently ranked number one by suppliers in an independent survey by The Advantage Group across our key competitors all over the UK for the twelfth consecutive year."

The company, he said, continued to measure revenue, gross margin and operating profit as key financial indicators and monitored non-financial KPIs including staff performance, vehicle fuel performance, sales service levels and range achievements, unanswered telesales calls, returned orders and early warning date codes as part of its business performance review.

Filshill also further developed its strategy around benchmarking its carbon footprint, identifying areas where it can positively influence a reduction in its carbon impact and work towards a net-zero emissions position.

The push driven by Filshill’s environmental team saw a reduction of 9% in its intensity ratio measure of carbon per case delivered.

It also continued to "heavily engage with its workforce on health and wellbeing, particularly with regard to mental health, with this work recognised through winning several industry awards".