Wholesaler and distributor A.F. Blakemore has reported 3.9% growth in sales to £1.24 billion (€1.44 billion) in its financial year ended 30 April 2023, driven by good performance in its food retail, foodservice and wholesale business.
EBITDA for the period increased by 65% year on year from £14.8 million (€17.2 million) to £24.4 million (€28.3 million), the company noted.
"The group has demonstrated fantastic resilience, despite facing national supply chain challenges last year," said chair Peter Blakemore.
"This strong growth is largely attributed to our SPAR retail performance, enhanced by improved stock availability and significant productivity within our supply chain."
Blakemore added that its store teams delivered "exemplary customer service and made a notable contribution to the communities" in which it operates.
He added, "SPAR stores have consistently invested in customer needs for fresh food to go and convenient fresh food for later categories, alongside innovative promotions and new-to-market product launches, such as Prime Hydration. These initiatives have contributed to a notable increase in like-for-like sales."
A.F. Blakemore, a family-owned business, owns 263 SPAR stores across England and Wales and is one of the largest SPAR wholesalers in the UK.
The company’s portfolio of brands also includes Philpotts, a chain of prepared-food stores, and Vegan Store, a specialist online wholesaler and retailer.
A.F. Blakemore is a member of the Unitas Wholesale and Country Range groups and is a supplier to the independent grocery sector as well as pubs, restaurants and caterers across the UK.